President Vladimir Putin says Russian Intelligence shows that U.S. lethal weapons are already being delivered in Ukraine. NATO partner Britain, on the other hand, claims photos show Russia’s most advanced missiles in Eastern Ukraine.
According to our intelligence, (U.S.) weapons are already being delivered, Moscow Times quote Putin saying at a press conference. The statement came after reporters asked him if a shipment of lethal hardware from Washington to Kiev would fan the flames of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Putin, who was speaking in Budapest during a predidential visit to Hungary on Tuesday, added that “arms deliveries would only contribute to the loss of lives in the war-torn region”. He reportedly also told reporters that the conflict in Ukraine will not be resolved through military escalation.
Widely spread in Russian media
The presidents comments was shown on the Russian state television Channel One, and several Russian media also quoted him saying the following:
- I am deeply convinced that whoever and whatever weapons are delivered to the conflict zone, the outcome will always be bad…the number of victims could increase.
For months Kiev and Western countries have accused Russia for arming pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, but Kremlin has repeatedly denied this.
In September Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked the U.S Congress for lethal weapon supplies, but Washington did not grant his request. However, and as The New York Times first reported, it seems to have been a change in policy.
According to U.S media reports the administration is considering whether to send arms to help the Ukraine government against pro-Russian rebels in the east.
When BBC interviewed U.S National Security spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on the matter, she said no decision has been made, but that U.S was “constantly assessing” its policies in Ukraine.
- Further proof
Since Sunday, there has been frequent reports of ceasefire violations from the pro-Russian forces.
Yesterday The British Foreign Office released photos of what they describe as Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft artillery system, being operated in eastern Ukraine. They argue that this is further proof of Russia's military involvement in the conflict.
Moscow Times quote the British Ambassador to NATO, Adam Thomson, saying that “We call on Russia to fully implement its Minsk Commitments, reffering to the truce agreement that calls for withdrawal of foreign forces from Ukraine.
Getting ready to repel
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg yesterday said that Russian forces, artillery and air defense units - as well as command and control elements - are still active in Ukraine.
Today the British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon warns Putin could target the Baltics next.
- He poses a "real and present danger" to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and NATO is getting ready to repel any possible aggression, Fallon says in comments published both in Daily Telegraph and The Times.
New List of Sanctions on Russia