Sergei Lavrov: “Westerners are playing with fire” by delivering F-16s

The Russian Foreign Minister strongly criticized the future delivery of F16 aircraft by the Americans to the Ukrainians.

By HR with AFP

Subscriber-only audio playback

IRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made a strong statement following the green light from the United States for the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to the Ukrainians. The member of Putin’s government accuses Westerners of “playing with fire”. He later deplored an “unacceptable escalation”.

“It’s playing with fire. There is no doubt about it,” Lavrov said in an interview on Russian state television, an excerpt of which was posted on the social media of the journalist who interviewed him, Pavel Zarubin. “It is an unacceptable escalation” led by “Washington, London and their satellites within the EU”, who want to “weaken Russia”, he argued.

For Lavrov, the West wants to dismember Russia

According to him, by delivering modern armaments to Kiev, the West wants to “inflict (on Moscow) a strategic defeat” and “dismember” Russia, a rhetoric regularly used by Russian leaders. Kiev backers had refused for more than a year to supply fighter jets to the Ukrainian army because they feared an escalation in the conflict, but the United States finally gave the go-ahead on 19 May, thus authorizing the delivery of these F-16s that Kiev tirelessly demanded.

READ ALSOGeorgia-Russia air links: a slap for the West

This represents a major turning point in Western support for kyiv and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the decision “historic”. The delivery schedule of these American-made F-16s and their number have not yet been decided, and Ukrainian pilots must first be trained for several months to learn how to handle them.

But Ukraine wanted these Western planes to counter Russian power in the air and hit the rear lines of Moscow’s troops, as Kiev says it is completing preparations for a major counter-offensive. According to Joe Biden, Volodymyr Zelensky “categorically assured” him that these fighter planes would not attack Russian territory, a prerequisite for Western countries before sending any equipment to Ukraine.

Source link -82