Russia reportedly warned of “consequences” if Washington continues to arm Ukraine
The White House has dismissed concerns over a formal complaint from Russia, which was reportedly sent to the US after Washington announced its latest $800 million package in arms supplies to Ukraine. Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared to report an . to name “empty threat” during her Monday briefing.
Psaki was asked about the warning, in which Moscow reportedly mentioned “unpredictable consequences” of Washington’s continued arming of Ukrainian troops with increasingly sophisticated weapons. The note was reported by US media last week.
“We are not going to comment. I mean, I’m not going to speculate about empty threats or threats from the president [Vladimir] Putin or by Russian leadership,” Psaki told reporters.
She added that US aid to Ukraine will continue as promised by US President Joe Biden. Other US officials made statements in a similar vein last week.
Moscow letter accuses NATO of pressuring Ukraine to end negotiations with Russia “to continue the bloodshed”, and condemned Washington for encouraging more arms deliveries, according to media reports. Neither Washington nor Moscow have confirmed them.
Russia repeatedly warned that arms shipments sent to Ukraine by the US and its allies were a destabilizing factor. Convoys could be attacked by the Russian army once they reach Ukrainian soil, Moscow has also said.
According to the Russian government, the aid encouraged Kiev and would only lead to a continuation of the armed conflict, with casualties piling up and the damage to Ukraine increasing accordingly. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ruled on Tuesday that the growing amount of weapons the US promised to send to Ukraine indicated they wanted a fight “until the last Ukrainian”.
Western countries said the arms shipments were intended to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia “aggression” and to incur expenses for the Russian troops. Foreign officials have reportedly pressured the Ukrainian government to keep fighting until they get the necessary concessions from the Kremlin. Moscow has repeatedly said that it will achieve all its objectives in Ukraine despite the resistance.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French mediation protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself as a neutral country that will never join NATO’s US-led military bloc. Kiev maintains that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and denies that it intended to retake the two republics by force.
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