Russia on Monday warned the U.S. against sending more arms to Ukraine.
The country’s ambassador to Washington warned that large Western deliveries of weapons were inflaming the conflict and would lead to more losses.
Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands of people, displaced millions more and raised fears of a wider confrontation between Russia and the U.S., by far the world’s two biggest nuclear powers.
The U.S. has ruled out sending its own or NATO forces to Ukraine but Washington and its European allies have supplied weapons to Kyiv such as drones, Howitzer heavy artillery, anti-aircraft Stinger and anti-tank Javelin missiles.
Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., said such arms deliveries were aimed at weakening Russia but that they were escalating the conflict in Ukraine while undermining efforts to reach some sort of peace agreement.
“What the Americans are doing is pouring oil on the flames.”
I see only an attempt to raise the stakes, to aggravate the situation, to see more losses,” Antonov told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.
Antonov, who has served as ambassador to Washington since 2017, said an official diplomatic note had been sent to Washington expressing Russia’s concerns, and that no reply had been given.
“We stressed the unacceptability of this situation when the United States of America poured weapons into Ukraine, and we demanded an end to this practice,” Antonov said.
The interview was replayed on Russian state television throughout Monday.
U.S. President, Joe Biden, pledged 800 million dollars in more weaponry for Ukraine on Thursday and said he would ask Congress for more money to help bolster support for the Ukrainian military.
President Vladimir Putin says the “special military operation” in Ukraine was necessary because the U.S. was using Ukraine to threaten Russia and Moscow, who had to defend against the persecution of Russian-speaking people.
Putin said Ukraine and Russia were essentially one people, describing the war as an inevitable confrontation with the U.S., which he accused of threatening Russia by meddling in its backyard and enlarging the NATO military alliance.
Ukraine added that it was fighting an imperial-style land grab and that Putin’s claims of genocide were nonsense.
Zelenskiy has been pleading with U.S. and European leaders to supply Kyiv with heavier arms and equipment.
Putin warned in February that there would be no winners in a conflict between NATO and Russia, which had the world’s biggest arsenal of nuclear warheads.