Russia to destroy any weapons West supplies to Kyiv

TEHRAN, Jan. 19 (MNA) – The Russian army will destroy any weapons that Western countries send to Ukrainian troops, Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday.

The Russian army will destroy any weapons given by the United States and other Western countries to Ukraine and will retaliate to attacks on its territory, including Crimea, Antonov said.

The US and several Western countries recently announced new military supplies to Kyiv, including battle tanks, armored infantry vehicles and artillery systems. The US Department of State said that Ukrainians may acquire possibilities to carry out strikes against Russian troops in Crimea thanks to weapons supplied by Washington.

"It is said that American MLRS HIMARS as well as Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles could be used in the future to launch the offensive in the Crimean direction. Commentators naively believe that Russia will not respond to attacks on its territory. It should be clear for everyone – we will destroy any weapons supplied to the Zelensky's regime by either the United States or NATO," Antonov said, answering a question from reporters.

He added that the latest statements by US officials were becoming more and more "belligerent," and the US State Department, through its "out-of-touch assertions," was pushing Ukraine "to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia."

The ambassador also said that further pumping up Kyiv with arms by the US or other NATO countries would only lead to an increase in civilian casualties, Sputnik reported.

Concluding his response, Antonov urged "thinking into" statements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and added that it was "impossible to defeat the Russian Federation."

On Wednesday, American media reported, citing sources, that the Biden administration was now taking a softer stance on supplying Kyiv with weapons capable of conducting strikes against Crimea, even though this could intensify hostilities. Earlier in the day, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Washington did not encourage Ukraine to attack the Russian territory, however, it did not recognize Crimea as part of Russia. Meanwhile, the White House hinted that a new military assistance package for Ukraine could be announced as soon as the end of the week. Other Western countries are expected to make similar announcements at a gathering at the US Ramstein air base in Germany on January 20.

MNA/PR

News Code 196354

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