WASHINGTON, August 19. /TASS/. The US approves of Kiev using the American weapons to strike Crimea as it believes that would be self-defense, the Politico newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a senior US administration official.
"We don't select targets, of course, and everything we've provided is for self-defense purposes. Any target they choose to pursue on sovereign Ukrainian soil is by definition self-defense," the official said.
When the reporter checked if Washington considered Crimea sovereign Ukrainian territory, the official replied: "Crimea is Ukraine."
A senior Pentagon official earlier said the US didn’t provide Ukraine with weapons that could be used to shell military targets in Crimea.
On February 24 Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. The West retaliated to the Russian decision by imposing sweeping sanctions on the country. Also, Western countries started shipments of weapons to Kiev, which by now are worth billions of dollars.
Crimea’s Supreme Council and the Sevastopol City Council on March 11, 2014 adopted a declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol amid a political crisis and change of government in Ukraine. The peninsula held a referendum on March 16, with the turnout exceeding 80%, where 96.7% of voters in Crimea and 95.6% in Sevastopol supported a reunification with Russia. On March 18, a treaty on the accession of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation was signed. Russia’s Federal Assembly ratified the treaty on March 21. Ukraine, the US and the EU refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.