NATO support for Ukraine would lead to 'unpredictable' escalation: Russia

The Russian Defense Minister claimed on Tuesday, February 7, that Western arms supplies to Ukraine were in fact dragging NATO into the conflict, warning that this could lead to an “unpredictable” escalation.

“The United States and its allies are trying to prolong the conflict for as long as possible,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a conference call with military officials.

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 allusion to “our territories” seemed to refer to four regions in the east and south of Ukraine -Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson- which Russia claims to have annexed after referendums last September, condemned by kyiv and its Western allies as illegitimate.

Photo: Reuters

Much of the territory in the regions claimed by Russia remains in Ukrainian hands.

The United States has sent military aid to Ukraine worth more than 20,000 million dollars since the Russian invasion last February, and is set to provide kyiv with longer-range rockets as part of a new $2 billion weapons package announced last week.

Ukraine says the weapons, as well as other military supplies, including tanks, are urgently needed to repel Russian attacks and increase its firepower ahead of a spring offensive against Moscow’s forces.

Photo: Reuters

Ukrainian officials claim that Moscow is stockpiling weapons and reserves for a new assault in the coming weeks.

Shoigu also stated on Tuesday that military operations near Vuhledar and the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, where Russia has intensified its offensive, were “progressing well.”

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