WASHINGTON, April 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statements during an interview Wednesday with state-run Russia Today "ludicrous."
In the interview, Lavrov alleged that America was responsible for directing the Ukrainian government to undertake a counter-terrorism operation in eastern Ukraine, claiming "There is no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show."
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki dismissed the statements as "ludicrous and they’re not based in fact of what is happening on the ground." Lavrov's rhetoric, she said, "is counterproductive and inflammatory."
In contrast, Psaki commended the Ukrainian government for having "shown remarkable restraint in their operations and have given multiple opportunities to negotiate a solution to these seizures."