Moscow warns West of ‘global tragedy’
A “global tragedy” could be in store for humanity if the West keeps supplying weapons to Ukraine, Russia's most senior lawmaker has warned. Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma, also suggested that Moscow could retaliate with more powerful arms, should its territory be threatened.
Volodin’s remarks came days after a meeting at US Ramstein air base in Germany at which Western powers pledged to continue supporting Kiev.
On Sunday, Volodin took to Telegram to point out that should the weapons provided by the US and fellow NATO member states be used to “strike civilian cities and to attempt to seize our territories, as they threaten [to do],” Moscow would respond with “more powerful weapons.”
The Russian lawmaker went on to argue that Western officials should be aware of their responsibility to avert such a scenario.
“Taking into consideration the technological superiority of Russian weapons, foreign politicians making such decisions need to understand: this could end up being a global tragedy that would destroy their countries,” Volodin warned.
The Ukrainian leadership insists on regaining control of all the territories that were within the country's borders established following the collapse of the Soviet Union back in 1991. Kiev says it is prepared to retake those regions by force if Moscow refuses to relinquish them. Crimea became part of Russia following a referendum back in 2014, while four other regions followed suit last year.
On Wednesday, the New York Times, citing several anonymous US officials, reported that the Biden administration is now more likely to consider providing Ukraine with striking capabilities needed to hit targets in Crimea.
Right before the Ramstein meeting on January 20, the US announced a new defense aid package for Ukraine to the tune of $2.5 billion. It includes, among other things, Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Stryker armored personnel carriers, mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, Humvees, as well as 20,000 rounds of regular artillery rounds and 600 precision-guided 155 mm shells. On top of that, Washington pledged to supply Kiev with more missiles for the HIMARS M142 and MLRS M270 multiple launch rocket systems.
Earlier this month the UK confirmed plans to provide Ukraine with a number of Challenger 2 main battle tanks. However, the Western allies failed to secure an agreement from Germany to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev.
Apart from the American Bradleys and Strykers, Ukraine is set to receive French AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles, which some experts describe as ‘light tanks.’ President Emmanuel Macron announced plans to deliver the hardware earlier this month.
Sweden has also promised to make a contribution that will include CB-90 infantry fighting vehicles and Archer self-propelled howitzers.