By Rebecca Shabad - 04/24/14 03:00 PM EDT
The State Department on Thursday rejected as "ludicrous" accusations from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that the United States was in control of a Ukrainian crackdown.
At a department press briefing, a journalist asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki if there was any truth to Lavrov’s comments.
Psaki tersely dismissed the reporter’s question and immediately moved on to another topic.
“I think you’re just repeating Foreign Minister Lavrov’s ludicrous claims from yesterday,” Psaki replied.
Lavrov explained he found it peculiar Ukraine resumed its “anti-terrorist” operation to root out Russian separatists after Vice President Biden visited Kiev earlier this week.
Ukraine relaunched its crackdown on rebels Tuesday as Biden departed for Washington after a two-day trip to Ukraine.
Lavrov said “it’s quite telling” that the operation resumed after Biden’s visit, given the fact it was first launched after CIA Director John Brennan reportedly met with officials in Kiev.