Western weapon supplies will spur Russia to push forward, foreign minister says
https://www.rt.com-FILE PHOTO: Russian missile launcher crew, July 2022. © Russian Defense Ministry / Sputnik
The use of Western-supplied heavy weapons by Kiev will only force Russia to move deeper into Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told RT and Sputnik on Wednesday.
Lavrov told RT Editor-in-Chief, Margarita Simonyan that when negotiators met in Istanbul, Turkey on March 29-30, they were discussing “one geography,” referring to the 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 the geography as of the end of March, 2022,” the minister noted.
“Now the geography is different. We’re not talking about the DPR, the LPR. We’re talking about Kherson Region, Zaporozhye Region and a number of other territories, and this process is ongoing.”
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 Donbass republics.
During its offensive, Russian and allied troops captured parts of southern Ukraine and pushed Ukrainian troops out of many towns in Donbass. The peace talks, meanwhile, have remained stalled since March, as Western politicians say that Kiev should not be pressured into giving up territory to Moscow.
The Russian Embassy in Washington released a statement on Wednesday, saying that people living in Russian-controlled areas will “decide on their future independently, by themselves.”