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US Crosses Line by Providing Arms to Ukraine: Russia

Sunday 24 December 2017
US Crosses Line by Providing Arms to Ukraine: Russia

Alwaght- Russia expressed concerns over the US decision to provide Ukraine with "lethal weapons," saying Washington is "crossing the line". 

Sergei Ryabko, the Russian deputy foreign minister warned on Saturday the move by the US ‘crosses a line’ and pushes Kiev towards bloodshed

The senior Russian diplomat added that Washington could no longer claim the role of neutral mediator in the conflict as “it is an accomplice in igniting a war.” Ryabko also said it was futile to appeal to the common sense of American politicians since most of them were currently “blinded by Russophobia and eagerly applaud the Ukrainian nationalist punitive battalions.”

The Kremlin’s warning came a day after the US State Department announced in a statement that Washington had decided to supply Ukraine with “enhanced defensive capabilities” as part of the United States' efforts to assist Kiev in building “its long-term defense capacity” and “to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to deter further aggression.”

The statement did not specify the capabilities being considered for the supply to Ukraine, but earlier in the day, the US media reported that Washington had planned to approve the sale of anti-tank missiles to the Eastern European country, including the advanced Javelin system.

“The total defense package of $47 million includes the sale of 210 anti-tank missiles and 35 launchers. Additional supplies will need to be purchased,” an ABC News report said.

Moscow issued its dire warning after a new truce deal between Ukraine and pro-Russians went into effect from midnight Saturday ahead of the New Year and Orthodox Christmas holidays.

Elsewhere in his strongly-worded statement, Ryabko said, “Kiev revanchists are shooting at Donbass every day. They don't want to conduct peace negotiations and dream of doing away with the disobedient population. And the US has decided to give them weapons to do that.”

On Thursday, Russia also warned the United States about the consequences of supplying arms to Ukraine, saying that the weapons would provoke “hotheads” among Ukrainian nationalists to seek to unleash new bloodshed in the country’s troubled east.

The armed conflict broke out in Ukraine following the ouster of the pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 and intensified after people in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea voted for reunification with the Russian Federation in a referendum held in March 2014.

The United States and its allies in Europe brand the reunification as the annexation of the territory by Russia, accusing Moscow of having a major hand in the crisis in eastern Ukraine, an allegation strongly rejected by the Kremlin.

The pro-Russians have turned the two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east, collectively known as the Donbass, into self-proclaimed republics, entering an armed conflict with Kiev. Every effort to seal a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire has failed.

 A ceasefire was agreed in Minsk, Belarus, in February 2015 as part of a broader peace plan, but its terms have not been fulfilled.

Grigory Karasin, another Russian deputy foreign minister, said in a separate statement on Saturday that Washington's new decision would undermine efforts to reach a political solution to the current conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“Essentially this decision undermines the work to implement the 2015 Minsk agreements,” Karasin said, accusing the US of supporting “the party of war” in Kiev.

The sale of the new American weapons to Ukraine could complicate hopes for new peace talks and would most likely lead to further casualties in the war, which has claimed more than 10,300 lives already.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, in a joint statement, strongly urged all sides in the Ukraine conflict to “face their responsibilities” after a rise in truce violations in the east of the country.

 “It is necessary to implement agreements on disengagement and the withdrawal of heavy weapons behind the agreed withdrawal lines, withdrawal of tanks, artillery and mortars to the agreed storage sites,” the joint statement further read, listing requirements to end the deadly conflict.

 

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Ukraine Russia US Arms

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