Jan 19, 2022 17:45 UTC
  •  Russia to West: Stop supplying weapons to Ukraine

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Wednesday called on the West to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons, amid boiling tensions between Moscow and the West.

Sergei Ryabkov in remarks on Wednesday described such military help as a threat to his country, Interfax news agency reported. The senior Russian diplomat also defined the situation around European security as "critical."

Earlier in the day, a senior US official confirmed that Washington has authorized an additional 200 million dollars in security aid to Ukraine. Late last year, the White House delivered 450 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine.

Britain said this week it had begun supplying Ukraine with anti-tank weapons.

In a meeting with the visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier on Wednesday in Kiev, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed gratitude for Washington's growing military assistance. Blinken, for his part, warned that Moscow would face serious consequences if it chooses to renew aggression against Ukraine.

Russia held three rounds of talks last week with the United States, NATO and the 57-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) but the discussions produced no breakthrough.

Ryabkov also last week said talks with the West on security issues and tension around Ukraine have hit a “dead-end” and warned that it will act to “eliminate unacceptable threats” if it is not satisfied with the US and NATO response to its demands.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will brief his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Moscow’s talks with NATO when he travels to Beijing next month. Putin is set to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 4.

Russia has demanded guarantees from NATO not to expand eastward.

President Putin and other senior Russian officials have said time and again that Moscow would seek Western guarantees precluding any further NATO expansion and deployment of its weapons near his country's borders.