Russia warned the United States of “unpredictable consequences” if NATO and America continue shipping “most sensitive” weapons systems to Ukraine.
The warning was issued in a formal diplomatic démarche from Russia, which The Washington Post reportedly reviewed. The cautionary communication came the day before President Joe Biden’s announcement of a dramatic escalation of weapons provided to Ukraine.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby Wednesday announced an additional $800 million package that includes 155 mm howitzers — a serious upgrade in long-range artillery designed to match Russian systems. Also included are coastal defense drones and armored vehicles as well as additional portable antiaircraft and antitank weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition.
The latest shipment brings the U.S. cost of arms provided to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began to approximately $2.6 billion.
President Biden offered to give Slovakia Patriot missiles if the NATO country donated their Russian-built S-300 air defense system to Ukraine, which it did. The aging air defense system is made up of 48 surface-to-air missiles, four launchers and radars to guide the rockets to their targets.
Other NATO members provided Ukraine better weaponry than before, including T-72 tanks and short-range air defense systems from the Czech Republic, according to the Times report.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Friday confirmed the diplomatic note, adding similar démarches on arms shipments to Ukraine were sent to “all countries,” including the United States, according to the Post report.
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, urgently requested enhanced weaponry to counter a major assault expected on eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region and along the coastal strip connecting it with Russian-occupied Crimea in the South.
“What the Russians are telling us privately is precisely what we’ve been telling the world publicly — that the massive amount of assistance that we’ve been providing our Ukrainian partners is proving extraordinarily effective,” a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the sensitive diplomatic document, reportedly told The Washington Post.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.