The U.S. administration still has not determined whether Russia intends to attack Ukraine, but believes that from a military point of view, Moscow now has everything to carry out such an attack, Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin has said on Friday.
"I believe that the decision to attack has not yet been made," he said at a briefing in Washington, adding that Russia now has the capability from a military point of view to carry out such an attack.
Austin also said the United States does not exclude that Russia will take extremely provocative steps, such as recognizing the independence of the territories that have separated from Ukraine.
At the same time, according to the Pentagon chief, the conflict is not inevitable.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley, for his part, said at the briefing that diplomacy should be the right option in this situation.
Milley said that in the event of an armed conflict, Russia is unlikely to achieve its goals easily, since the Ukrainian Armed Forces have become more combat-ready in recent years.