Monday, March 4, 2024

Moscow says West seeking to secretly send Russian weaponry to Ukraine

Moscow has become aware of several cases of Western states asking certain countries to secretly donate Russian-made arms to Kiev for use in the Ukraine conflict, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has claimed.

The Russian diplomat’s comments come as Kiev ramps up its demands for more military aid, citing acute shortages in hardware and ammunition. The US and its allies have also been seeking to approve further financial and military support for Ukraine.

Speaking at a roundtable meeting with the heads of foreign diplomatic missions in Moscow on Tuesday, Lavrov stated that Russia has been in contact with “certain countries” that the West has been trying to convince to hand over Russia-supplied weapons to Ukraine, without informing Moscow of such transfers.

The minister noted that there have been “several cases of this kind” recorded by Moscow over the past year and a half, and stressed that Russia will continue to demand that all international obligations regarding weapons transfers be observed.

Lavrov pointed out that when a foreign country legally acquires Russian arms, the shipments come with a certain package of documents, including an end-user certificate.

“In accordance with this certificate, the recipient of the weapon does not have the right to resell it or redirect it anywhere without the consent of the supplier country,” the minister explained.

At the same time, Russia’s top diplomat added that the West has been pretending not to notice that its own weapons, which it has supplied to Ukraine, have already spread to war zones across the world, where they are frequently being used by extremists and terrorists.

“The weapons that the West supplies to the Ukrainian regime have been found not only in conflict zones in the Middle East, but in illegal shipments that have been recorded in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Gaza,” Lavrov stated.

Last week, speaking at a UN Security Council meeting, Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s claims that Kiev has been reselling Western weapons on the black market, and expressed disbelief that Ukraine’s backers were unaware of this.

Russia has repeatedly condemned Western weapons deliveries to Ukraine, insisting that such shipments only serve to prolong the fighting and lead to more bloodshed without affecting the eventual outcome.

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