Moscow on Saturday slammed Washington’s decision to provide Kiev with “enhanced defensive capabilities,” saying it could lead to “new bloodshed” in war-torn eastern Ukraine.
“Today the United States clearly pushes (Ukrainian authorities) towards new bloodshed,” deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement. “American weapons can lead to new victims in our neighbour.”
U.S. officials said Friday that President Donald Trump’s administration approved a plan to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.
Ukraine has long sought the weapons for its fight against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 10,000 since April 2014.
Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told the state RIA Novosti news agency Saturday that the U.S. move “raises the danger of derailing the process of peaceful settlement in Ukraine.”
A 2015 peace deal brokered by France and Germany has helped reduce the scale of fighting in eastern Ukraine, but clashes have continued and the agreement’s provisions for political settlement have stalled.