Lukashevich: Ceasefire in Donbas at risk if US supplies weapons to Ukraine
The ceasefire in eastern Ukraine will be disrupted and the conflict escalate if the United States supplies weapons to Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday at a briefing in Moscow, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Russia.
"We again warn Washington about the enormous damage [that will be done] to our bilateral relations if the residents of the Donbas are killed by U.S. weapons. The supply of weapons is fraught with [dangers] not only of the disruption of the ceasefire and a new escalation in the east - they also threaten the security of the Russian Federation," he said.
"On the background of the successful implementation of the ceasefire in the Donbas, which was reached on February 12 in Minsk by the leaders of the ‘Normandy Four’ countries, we are very concerned about the continuing reports of the U.S. intention to launch a massive supply of weapons to Ukraine," Lukashevich said.
"The U.S. Congress had even drawn up a special law that provides for the allocation of $1 billion for equipping and training Ukrainian troops, as if Washington is going to fully support them," he said.
"In addition, according to our information, up to 300 soldiers of the 173rd U.S. Airborne Brigade, which is stationed in Italy, were recently sent to the Yavorivskiy polygon in Lviv region. These soldiers will train Ukrainian military to use overseas military equipment. Thus, the U.S. military is already in Ukraine," Lukashevich added.
As reported earlier, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said that U.S. President Barack Obama had not yet made a decision on arms deliveries to Ukraine.