U.S. President Joe Biden's administration has reminded Ukraine that it does not support its equipment to be used to attack targets within Russia ,White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told CNN on May 25.
“We have again made it very clear to the Ukrainians what our expectations are about attacking Russia — we don't want to encourage or enable that, we certainly don't want any US-made equipment used to attack Russian soil,” Kirby said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
“And we have gotten assurances from the Ukrainians that they will respect those wishes … we have been very clear that we want Ukraine to be able to defend its own soil, its own territory. They have been attacked. They have been invaded. They have a right to defend themselves," he said.
"But, we've also been clear, well, that we don't want to see this war escalate beyond this, the devastation and the violence that is already visited on the Ukrainian people.”
The conversations, which occurred "as recently as over just the last day or so," according to Kirby, did not involve any specific consequences, but were "simply a reaffirmation," he said.
Kirby's comments follow news of a cross-border incursion into Russia's Belgorod Oblast by Russian militants fighting on Ukraine's side.
Days after the incursions, reports revealed that U.S.-made Humvee and MaxxPro military trucks, vehicles included in American military aid to Ukraine, had allegedly ended up in Russia.
The White House has said it was investigating the reports that "U.S. equipment and vehicles could've been involved" in the fighting within Russian borders.
The U.S. has so far refused to provide Ukraine with ATACMS long-range missiles that have a range of 300 kilometers, citing concerns they could be used to strike targets within Russia.
Critics argue that allies’ reluctance to supply long-range missiles to Ukraine will prevent Kyiv from launching a major counteroffensive and liberating the rest of Ukrainian territory.