Russia is looking beyond its invasion of Ukraine and threatening other nations if they stay involved in the war. In fact, a Russian official said recently that the willingness of the United States, along with other western nations, to give Ukraine weapons to use against Russia’s army will put those countries at risk of a “direct military confrontation” with Russia.
Anatoly Antonov, the Russian Ambassador to the United States, spoke with Newsweek and said that Western states are now directly involved in giving Ukraine weapons and ammunition. These nations are “inciting further bloodshed.”
This warning to America comes after Russia has been fighting in Ukraine for six weeks.
Before the war began in Ukraine, the United States had been sending hundreds of anti-tank and anti-aircraft launchers to Ukraine.
It wasn’t just America, other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have
continued to send weapons to Ukraine in the midst of Russian aggression and potential war crimes
Just last week the United States gave the $300 million worth of weapons to Ukraine. This included Switchblade-600 drones that can fly above targets and then dive into them with an explosion. These advanced weapons are now powerful enough to take out enemy tanks.
Antonov said, “We warn that such actions are dangerous and provocative as they are directed against our state. They can lead the U.S. and the Russian Federation onto the path of direct military confrontation.”
He went even further saying that any supply of weapons or military equipment from the West will become a legitimate military target for the Russian Armed Forces. He means that they will be looking for our distribution convoys and targeting them.
Just a few weeks ago, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the “thoughtless transfer” of Western weapons to Ukraine was a sign that Washington was escalating their policy against Russia. He vowed to attack these weapons shipments.
This was reiterated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who said that any cargo going into Ukraine that Russia believes is carrying weapons would be “fair game” for an attack.
Russian forces have come close to this line of attack already. They have carried out a number of strikes in western Ukraine that have landed just a couple of miles from NATO-allied countries.
On the 13th of March, Russian missiles hit a Ukrainian military base close to the city of Yavoriv. This is where Ukrainian forces have been training with foreign volunteers. The very large military base where this was happening is just 10 miles from Poland, A NATO ally of Ukraine.
On March 19th, Russia said that it deployed an air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missile which was aimed at a Ukrainian weapons depot near Deliatyn. This Ukrainian village is just 46 miles from the border in Ukraine with Romania and 88 miles from the border Ukraine shares with Hungary. Both Romania and Hungary are members of the NATO alliance.
This threat to target convoys from the United States carrying weapons into Ukraine is unusual because Russia’s focus seems to be on the eastern Donbas region of the country. They would have to strengthen both the eastern and the western front of the military forces.
According to Antonov, the mission in Russia is the same. They demand an unconditional consideration of Russia’s security interests. They demand the demilitarization and denazification of the Ukrainian state. They want to ensure that Ukraine stays neutral and without nuclear status. And they want recognition of the Russian sovereignty of Crimea and the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
Russia wants America and other western nations to be aware that if they continue to “meddle” in things like supplying Ukraine with weapons, you can expect “direct confrontation.”