News ID: 319517
Published: 0221 GMT January 19, 2022

Kremlin says weapons deliveries raising tension around Ukraine

Kremlin says weapons deliveries raising tension around Ukraine

Ukrainian service members unload anti-tank weapons supplied by Britain at the Boryspil airport outside Kiev, Ukraine, on January 18, 2022.

The Kremlin on Wednesday said tension around Ukraine was increasing, pointing to weapons deliveries, military manoeuvres and NATO aircraft flights, something it said Russia's international partners should pay attention to.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Moscow hoped to receive written answers to its proposals for sweeping security guarantees in the coming days, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in Washington on Wednesday urged the United States to abandon plans to provide more weapons to Ukraine.

"If the United States is truly committed to diplomatic efforts to resolve the intra-Ukrainian conflict, they should abandon plans to supply new batches of weapons for the armed forces of Ukraine. Instead, Washington should use its influence on the Ukrainian authorities to convince them to stop sabotaging the Minsk Agreements," the embassy said in a statement on Facebook.

Russia last month sent a draft agreement to NATO and a draft treaty to the U.S. both on security guarantees in Europe for the Western countries to consider. Moscow has asked Washington to prevent further eastward expansion of NATO and deny former Soviet republics accession to the alliance. 

Russia also demanded that the U.S. and NATO do not deploy offensive weapons in its neighboring countries.

Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Monday that the UK has begun supplying Ukraine with new light anti-tank weapons, according to The Guardian.

“We have taken the decision to supply Ukraine with light anti-armour defensive weapons systems,” Wallace told the Commons, adding that “a small number” of British troops would provide training to help Kiev’s forces in using them.

The defence secretary insisted the arms sales were intended to be defensive, although Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently complained about other NATO members selling modern weapons to Ukraine.

The U.S. administration also said Wednesday it's providing an additional $200 million in defensive military aid to Ukraine, AP reported.

A senior U.S. State Department official said the assistance was approved in late December as part of American efforts to help Ukraine protect itself. Until Wednesday, however, the administration had refused to comment on it. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

The announcement came as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken opened a hastily arranged visit to Kiev as he and other administration officials step up warnings about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. The White House said Tuesday that Russia could at any point launch an attack in Ukraine.







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