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23 May, 2024 08:56

Ukraine seeking to spark direct NATO-Russia clash – Moscow

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov has warned Washington against authorizing the use of long-range weapons against Russian territory
Ukraine seeking to spark direct NATO-Russia clash – Moscow

Calls by American lawmakers to allow Ukraine to use foreign-made weapons against targets deep in Russian territory play into Kiev’s hands, as they encourage a direct clash between Moscow and NATO, Russia’s Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has warned.

On Wednesday, a group of US congressmen submitted a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asking him to authorize “the use of US-provided weapons to strike strategic targets within Russian territory under certain circumstances.” This stance has previously been supported by Victoria Nuland, the former acting US Deputy Secretary of State, who played a major role in the Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014.

Earlier this week, however, Austin stopped short of endorsing the policy shift, suggesting that Kiev should focus “on the close fight” rather than on long-range strikes with foreign-made weapons.

On Thursday, Antonov denounced the “provocative” and “extremely dangerous and reckless” calls to allow Ukraine to use Western-supplied weapons to attack deep inside Russia. He added that “the calls by Russophobes mean only one thing – further US involvement in the conflict in Ukraine on the side of the agonizing Zelensky regime.” 

The envoy suggested that the debates on the matter were a “hysterical reaction” to Russia’s successes on the battlefield against Ukraine, and that Western policymakers “continue to test our patience.” 

According to Antonov, it is also obvious that by requesting permission to attack deep inside Russia with foreign-made weapons, Kiev seeks “to provoke the United States, as well as other NATO countries, into rash actions and achieve a head-on collision between Russia and the bloc’s members.” 

Kiev would likely use long-range systems against Russian civilians, the ambassador claimed, adding that “the Kiev regime has long… stopped asking permission” from the West to do so. “Barbaric raids using deadly products of the NATO military-industrial complex are carried out across our country on an almost regular basis,” Antonov stated.

Ukraine has stepped up its pleas to be allowed to use Western-made weapons against far-flung targets inside Russia as Moscow’s forces steadily advance in Donbass and the Kharkov Region. The latter area has been used by Kiev to routinely shell Russian territory, with strikes killing dozens of civilians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that Moscow’s offensive in Kharkov Region seeks to establish a “cordon sanitaire,” or buffer zone, to prevent further Ukrainian attacks.