A top Russian diplomat warned on Saturday that Moscow could attack Western shipments of military equipment to Ukraine.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia has warned the United States that it will consider Western arms shipments to Ukraine as targets.
According to Ryabkov, the Kremlin “warned the United States that the delivery of weapons from a series of countries that it orchestrates is not only a dangerous move, but it is an action that turns those convoys into legitimate targets.”
He also said that Moscow had warned: “about the consequences of the thoughtless transfer to Ukraine of weapons such as man-portable air defense systems, anti-tank missile systems, etc.” Ryabkov declared that Washington had not taken Moscow’s warnings seriously, adding that Russia and the United States were not conducting any “negotiation process” over Ukraine.
These warnings come after US President Joe Biden personally intervened to stop a shipment of Polish MiG fighter jets to Kyiv, fearing the move could lead to World War III.
On the other hand, Ryabkov described the US sanctions against his country as an “unprecedented attempt to deal a severe blow to various sectors of the Russian economy”, but warned that Moscow will act in a restrained way so as not to harm itself.
In addition, Ryabkov said that Russia has no intention of expelling Western media and companies in a climate of growing tension: “We are not going to aggravate the situation,” he said.
Russian forces intensified their attacks on the outskirts of Kyiv on Saturday on the 17th day of the invasion, while the siege of Mariupol in the south continues, and Russians and Ukrainians revealed on Saturday that they are negotiating in videoconference format after three rounds face-to-face.
On Saturday morning, heavy fighting was reported in northwest Kyiv and a military airfield in Vasylkiv, south of the capital, was hit by Russian missiles, while Russian forces are reported to be 25 km from Kyiv.
Meanwhile, in the port city of Mariupol, to the southeast, the Russians have bombed the mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported on its website. “More than 80 adults and children are hiding there from the shelling, including citizens of Turkey,” added the ministry, which did not provide further information on the attack.
Mariupol, a city of about 500,000 inhabitants in southeastern Ukraine and on the shores of the Inland Sea of Azov, is an important industrial center that has suffered from a Russian siege since the beginning of the conflict. Today the Ukrainian authorities managed to open a humanitarian corridor to bring food and medicine.
The city of Mykolaiv, in the southwest, suffered heavy shelling and new artillery and air attacks were also registered in the cities of Mykolaiv, Dnipro and Kropyvnytskyi, in the center of the country.
The attacks of the Russian Army extended for the first time to populations in the west of the country, close to the borders with the European Union, and this Saturday it was confirmed that the military airfield in Lutsk, near Poland, was completely destroyed.
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