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Monday, August 8, 2022

Russia diplomat: Military supplies to Ukraine amount to ‘blackmail and pressure’

A senior Russian diplomat said Wednesday that the West’s military support of Ukraine amounts to “blackmail and pressure” against the Kremlin, Reuters reported.

The United States and Britain have provided Ukraine with weapons and ammunition in recent weeks, including anti-tank missiles and launchers, and talks continue in an effort to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Everything happening in terms of pumping Ukraine with equipment, ammunition, military hardware including lethal weapons is an attempt to put additional political pressure on us, as well as probably military technical pressure,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Ryabkov to the RIA news agency, which is owned by the Russian government.

Ryabkov said Ukraine had brought a “provocation” against Russia, citing a media report from inside the Kremlin claiming that Ukraine officials requested THAAD missile defense systems from the U.S. The report has not been confirmed.

Ryabkov added that the provision of these types of weapons would make a political diplomatic resolution to the Russia-Ukraine tension less likely.

These developments have followed a buildup of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border and in nearby Belarus, raising suspicions that Russia might invade its neighbor. Russia denies having such plans.

Russia’s national security focus in past weeks has been on requesting guarantees from the West that Ukraine will not be accepted into NATO and that military support to the country will be halted.

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