Russia says aims in Ukraine now go beyond Donbas

TEHRAN, Jul. 20 (MNA) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow's military "tasks" in Ukraine now went beyond the eastern Donbas region.

In an interview with RIA Novosti, Lavrov said geographical realities had changed since Russian and Ukrainian negotiators held peace talks in Turkey in late March that failed to produce any breakthrough.

Lavrov added that Russia’s objectives will expand still further if the West delivers long-range weapons to Kyiv, the agency said, according to NBC News.

"Now the geography is different, it's far from being just the DPR and LPR, it's also Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions and a number of other territories," he said.

"This process is continuing logically and persistently," he said, adding that Russia might need to push even deeper.

If the West, out of impotent rage or desire to aggravate the situation further, kept pumping Ukraine with long-range weapons such as the U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), "that means the geographical tasks will extend still further from the current line", Lavrov said.

Russia could not allow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy or whoever replaces him to threaten its territory or that of the DPR and LPR with the longer-range systems, the Russian top diplomat added.

MP/PR

News Code 189295

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