Russian envoy sums up US goal in Ukraine
Russia’s Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has accused Washington of “adding fuel to the fire of the Ukrainian conflict” and claimed that the Biden administration is not interested in a peaceful settlement.
On Tuesday, the Russian Embassy in Washington published a transcript of Ambassador Antonov’s response to a journalist. The comment came out shortly after the White House’s announcement of an additional military aid package for Kiev to the tune of $1 billion.
The diplomat claimed that the “allocation of an additional 1 billion dollars” for military aid to the Ukrainian government proves that the “United States does not intend to listen to reason and is not going to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the crisis.”
The ambassador also slammed as “especially cynical” the Biden administration’s explanation that the additional shipment of weapons would strengthen Ukraine’s position in any future negotiations with Russia. According to Antonov, “it is unclear how one can, in principle, talk about dialogue in conditions when the only goal of the United States is to prolong the conflict as much as possible.”
The official also dismissed as an “illusion” the notion that Ukrainian forces would be able to “exhaust” Russia and secure a victory on the battlefield with the help of additional Western weapons. The envoy went on to claim that by banking on this scenario, the government in Kiev is only increasing the number of fatalities in the conflict, adding that the supply of more weapons to Kiev “will only prolong the agony of the Ukrainian regime.”
He also warned that the US itself is becoming “increasingly drawn into the conflict, approaching a dangerous line in the confrontation with the Russian Federation.”
According to the Russian ambassador, more and more Americans, “experts, columnists of leading publications and ordinary citizens” alike, are starting to raise questions regarding the “unrestrained pumping of Ukraine with weapons.”
Antonov said that this concern largely stems from the “evidence of fraudulent schemes during the transportation of defense products” – an apparent reference to reports in the US and Western media alleging that only a fraction of Western military aid actually makes it to its intended users on the frontline.
The diplomat went on to accuse “Zelensky’s militants” of using the Western weapons that they do receive to “carry out deadly strikes on residential areas of Donbass cities on a daily basis.” Antonov alleged that Ukrainian forces are now “exposing [the] whole [of] Europe to extreme danger by attacking” the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, currently under Russian control. The Russian official expressed hope that the Americans would soon realize “whom exactly their country supports.”
Antonov also argued that developing nations are looking on with great surprise as Washington throws billions of dollars “into the void” with its military aid for Ukraine. The ambassador suggested that those resources would be better spent on the “economic and social demands of Latin America, Africa and Asia,” which were battered particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Antonov’s remarks came shortly after the Pentagon on Monday unveiled its largest military aid package for Kiev since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out in late February.