Delivering long-range weapons to Kyiv would lead to escalation, Kremlin warns

Long range weapon delivery to Kyïv would result in escalation , warns the Kremlin

MISE À DAY

The Kremlin warned on Thursday that the delivery to Ukraine by the West of long-range weapons, capable of striking deep into Russian territory, would lead to a dangerous escalation of the armed conflict between Kyiv and Moscow.

“It is potentially very dangerous, it would mean that the conflict would reach a new level which would not promise anything good for European security”, declared the spokesman of the Russian presidency, Dmitry Peskov.

He mentioned the potential delivery of “weapons that can strike Russian territory” even though “Ukraine already has weapons that it uses to carry out daily strikes on the Russian territory,” he added.

Mr. Peskov was reacting to comments by the Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, who assured that Moscow would “destroy” any weapon delivered by Washington or NATO to Ukraine.

These statements then come that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Berlin's hesitation on delivering heavy tanks on Thursday, on the eve of a crucial Ukraine Contact Group meeting in Ramstein, Germany, to coordinate continued aid to Kyiv.

Since the beginning of the conflict, the West has refused to deliver long-range missiles to Kyiv, for fear of causing an escalation.

Moscow, however, accused the army Ukraine for carrying out drone strikes in annexed Crimea and on targets in Russia hundreds of kilometers from the Ukrainian border, including in December against the Russian military airfield in Engels.