MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – The delivery of lethal arms to Kiev “would directly pour oil on the fire and urge on Kiev’s warring instinct,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“In watching how the Ukrainian authorities are attempting to solve the so-called problem in the southeast, I think this type of solution [delivering lethal arms] would be pouring oil on the fire and would urge on the warring and uncompromising instincts of the Ukrainian leadership,” Lavrov said during a briefing.
Ukrainian authorities in mid-April launched a military operation targeting independence supporters in the country’s east. The brutal military campaign, with its use of heavy artillery and warplanes, has already claimed hundreds of lives and forced thousands to flee their homes.
In April, the US government already pledged $8 million in what it called “nonlethal” military aid to Ukraine.
Since then, the country’s former senior diplomats, as well as White House officials and lawmakers have been calling on Washington to lift the ban on lethal weapons to Ukraine to beef up US military presence in Russia’s “backyard.”
Earlier on Monday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said the US government was still undecided about shipping arms directly to Ukraine’s military on request, adding they did provide intelligence.
Russia has repeatedly condemned Kiev’s actions and urged for an immediate stop to the punitive operation, advocating a peaceful resolution to the crisis in the region.