Western arms deliveries will spur Russia forward, says foreign minister
The use of Western-supplied heavy weapons by kyiv will only force Russia to push deeper into Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told RT and Sputnik on Wednesday.
Lavrov told RT editor Margarita Simonyan that when negotiators met in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 29-30, they were discussing “a geography” referring to areas controlled by Russia and the forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).
“Our willingness to accept Ukrainian suggestions was based on geography at the end of March 2022,” noted the minister.
“Now the geography is different. We are not talking about the DPR, the LPR. We are talking about the Kherson region, the Zaporozhye region and a number of other territories, and this process is underway.
Lavrov accused the West of exacerbating the conflict by “pumping” Ukraine with heavy weapons, including M142 HIMARS multiple rocket launchers and long-range munitions.
“It means that we will have to put the line even further”, he said, adding that Moscow will not allow Ukrainian troops to threaten either Russia or the Donbas republics.
During his offensive, Russian and allied troops captured parts of southern Ukraine and drove Ukrainian troops from many towns in Donbass. Peace talks, meanwhile, have stalled since March, with Western politicians saying kyiv should not be forced to cede territory to Moscow.
The Russian Embassy in Washington issued a statement on Wednesday, saying people living in Russian-controlled areas “decide their future independently, on their own.”