Washington's decision to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine increases the risk of a direct military confrontation between the United States and Russia, even though top US officials say that they do not want it to happen.
Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov believes that the United States goes towards direct military confrontation with Russia. Ryabkov's remarks came in response to reports about the decision of the US administration to ship HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems to Ukraine.
Washington insists that the missile systems supplied to Kyiv will not be able to hit targets outside the territory of Ukraine. In other words, the systems are not good for attacking Russia (although it is not clear why, because they can). According to the White House, this is enough for Moscow to believe that the United States "still" does not want to become a party to the conflict.
"We are not providing any weapons that will allow the Ukrainians to attack Russia from inside of Ukraine, and President Biden has been very clear on that, that we're not — we're not going to become a party to the war, but we will support Ukraine's efforts to defend its own sovereignty and territorial integrity," Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Representative to the UN said.
Ryabkov did not agree with Thomas-Greenfield's statement, because, in his opinion, the decision of the United States to ship HIMARS MLRS to Ukraine was making the conflict even more dangerous.
"Any arms shipments that contribute to further escalation increase the risk for a direct confrontation between Russia and the United States,” Ryabkov said.
The US has never done anything to mitigate tensions with Russia over Ukraine. This had subsequently thwarted Moscow's latest attempts to come to a legally binding agreement that addressed Russian concerns about NATO expansion in Europe.
"After open hostilities started in February, the remnants of healthy attitude towards the situation were destroyed,” Ryabkov said. "Washington continues its course on what we have characterized many times as an intention to wage war to the last Ukrainian in order to inflict — as they say — a strategic defeat on Russia. It's unprecedented. It's dangerous."
According to the Russian diplomat, the latest increase in arms supplies to Ukraine does not fundamentally change the situation, but only increases the risks.
Military expert Konstantin Sivkov believes that the supplies of HIMARS systems will not affect the course of the Russian special operation. Ukraine is not going to receive anything fundamentally new or super-powerful from the United States, he believes.
HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and limited-range ammunition are comparable to the systems that the Armed Forces of Ukraine already have in service, the expert believes.
"For example, they have Soviet-made Uragan multiple launch rocket systems. They are comparable to HIMARS in terms of performance. Ukraine also has even more powerful MLRS, for example, Smerch systems, while Russia has weapons to destroy Ukrainian artillery rocket systems," Konstantin Sivkov said.
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