Washington does not consider the deployment of Russian forces to Donbass as a new step that would radically change the situation around Ukraine and could serve as an incentive for the West to impose previously prepared anti-Russian sanctions, a high-ranking representative of the U.S. administration said during a special phone briefing for journalists.
"I did say that we are going to be carefully observing and assessing Russian actions and responding accordingly. But I do also want to remind you and everyone on the call that the Russian troops moving into Donbas would not itself be a new step," he said, answering to the TASS question.
According to the official, "Russia has had forces in the Donbas region for the past eight years." Russia's "narrative has been that they do not; our, you know, certain knowledge has been that they have. And they are now - they’re apparently now making a decision to do this in a more overt and open way," he added.
Now the U.S. is going to assess what Russia does and not focus on what Russia says, the high-ranking representative of the US administration said. "The actions that we take are very much focused on response to Russian actions, of which there have been some taken up till now and we have calibrated our responses accordingly," he noted.
The official stressed that they are going to be carefully observing and assessing Russian actions and responding accordingly.