Washington’s intention to provide lethal arms to Ukraine ‘crosses a red line’ and pushes Kiev towards bloodshed, a senior Russian diplomat said.
The US announced it will supply Ukraine with anti-tank weapons and other advanced hardware.
The move by the US government is an escalation compared to the previous practice of providing weapons to Kiev through contracts with American arms producers, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in a statement. “In a sense, the US has crossed a line.”
The Russian diplomat added that Washington can no longer claim the role of mediator in the Ukrainian conflict, because in fact it’s an “accomplice in igniting a war.” He said Moscow believes there is no use in appealing to the common sense of American politicians, since many of them are currently “blinded by Russophobia and eagerly applaud the Ukrainian nationalist punitive battalions.”
Ryabkov’s remarks are in line with a string of condemnation of Washington’s move by other Russian officials. Fellow Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said the US arming of Ukraine undermines the 2015 Minsk agreement, which was negotiated with the help of Germany and France, and laid down a roadmap for resolution of the conflict. The agreement’s implementation was stalled by Kiev’s refusal to uphold its part of the bargain, which included amnesty for rebel fighters and special autonomous status for the regions they control.