HNewsWire: This week, Russia delivered a formal diplomatic message to the United States, urging Washington and NATO to cease arming Ukraine. The Washington Post obtained a copy of the memo, which said that the Western push to transfer weaponry into Ukraine was "fueling" the crisis and might have "unprecedented implications."
The diplomatic message was delivered on Tuesday, after the announcement of a fresh, large US military assistance package for Ukraine. On Wednesday, President Biden unveiled the latest assistance, which is worth $800 million and includes howitzers for the first time. In addition to helicopters, the package includes armed Switchblade drones, coastal defense drones, armored vehicles, and radar equipment. Thousands of Stinger and Javelin missiles are also included in the bundle.
The Russian Embassy in Washington sent the Russian message to the State Department. It claimed that the United States and its NATO allies were disregarding "rigorous principles" on the transfer of weapons into the conflict zone, and that the Western powers were oblivious to "the threat of high-precision weapons falling into the hands of radical nationalists, extremists, and bandit forces in Ukraine."
The Russians accused NATO of putting pressure on Ukraine to "abandon" peace negotiations with Moscow in order to "prolong the carnage." The United States and the majority of its NATO partners have showed little interest in assisting the warring parties' discussions. The Western countries have made it clear that they do not want Kiev to make any concessions to Moscow.
According to the Washington Post, some NATO countries believe that "it's better for the Ukrainians to remain fighting and dying than to establish a peace that comes too soon or at too great a cost to Kyiv and the rest of Europe."
The official Russian complaint against the United States equipping Ukraine might pave the way for Russia to initiate attacks on weapons shipments in Ukraine. On Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that if US or NATO vehicles were discovered in Ukraine, they would be "legitimate targets."
It is unclear if any US or NATO trucks have carried weaponry into Ukraine since Russia's invasion. According to Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, Ukrainian forces transfer the weapons into Ukraine after the US delivers them to Eastern Europe. There have been no reports of Russia attacking arms shipments as they enter Ukraine, but Moscow has targeted weapons stockpiles. Earlier this week, Russia announced the destruction of an S-300 missile defense system supplied by a European nation in Ukraine.
Russia's protest shows the peril of the US-led push to dump weaponry into Ukraine, as well as the risk of inciting Moscow. In addition to supplying Ukrainians, the US provides them with information for strikes against Russian soldiers. The massive outpouring of support begs the issue of when Russia would consider the US a co-belligerent in the conflict.