Russia’s defence minister warned Western military aid to Ukraine would potentially drag NATO into the conflict and that it could lead to an “unpredictable” escalation.
“The US and its allies are trying to prolong the conflict as much as possible,” Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.
“To do this, they have started supplying heavy offensive weapons, openly urging Ukraine to seize our territories. In fact, such steps are dragging NATO countries into the conflict and could lead to an unpredictable level of escalation.”
His reference to “our territories” appeared to indicate the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, which Moscow claims to have annexed, a move widely condemned by Kyiv and its Western allies.
A large portion of the region is currently controlled by Ukrainian forces.
Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands to send Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine
The warning comes as Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands announced that they are planning to send Ukraine at least 100 refurbished Leopard 1 battle tanks.
The defence ministers of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands said in a joint statement that the shipment of the tanks is meant “to support Ukraine in their endeavour to withstand Russian aggression.”
”[It] will significantly enhance Ukraine’s military potential for the restoration of their violated territorial integrity,” they said.
And the statement added that the shipment would arrive in Ukraine “within the coming months.”
The US has sent more than €18.6 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine since February and is set to provide Kyiv with longer-range rockets as part of a new €1.8 billion package of weapons announced last week.
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