Asked by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC on Thursday why the United States has favored terms like “incursion” and “aggression” instead of “invasion” to characterize the situation in Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said, “I think this is a discussion about terminology” and that it doesn’t change the kind of support the U.S. is giving Ukraine and the discussions U.S. officials are conducting.”

“Escalation of aggression by the Russians has been a pattern over the last several months,” Psaki said. She said that this would be a main issue discussed at the NATO summit next week, and that there are “sanctions we could still do, a range of tools at our disposal.”

The U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Douglas Lute, is also avoiding the term, despite calling Russia’s actions “the most severe challenge to European security since the end of the Cold War.”…

Other U.S. officials, like National Security Adviser Susan Rice, have also stuck with words like “escalation” and “incursion.”