Asked about reports that the U.S. provided intelligence on the Moskva, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Ukraine receives “relevant and timely” intelligence from the U.S., but also gets assistance from other nations and makes its own decisions about how to use it. “And if they do decide to do something with that intelligence, then they make the decisions about acting on it,” Kirby said.
The Biden administration sought Friday to downplay the role of American intelligence in the high-profile sinking of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, distancing itself from any direct role in one of the greatest embarrassments for Russia since it attacked Ukraine, AP reports.
A day after an American official confirmed that the U.S. provided Ukraine with information on the location of the ship, the White House and Pentagon described a limited role in last month’s attack and said the Ukrainians make their own decisions.
The effort reflected the fine line President Joe Biden walks as he touts increasing support for Ukraine while fighting off criticism he isn’t doing enough and simultaneously trying to avoid dragging the U.S. into a direct conflict with Russia.
“We had no prior knowledge of Ukraine’s intent to target the ship,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “The Ukrainians have their own intelligence capabilities to track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did in this case.”
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