Lavrov warns Russia will disrupt Western arms supplies to Ukraine

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said ‘railway lines, bridges and tunnels’ considered targets in stopping arms shipments.

Ukrainian soldiers prepare to fire a French-made CAESAR self-propelled howitzer towards Russian positions near Avdiivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Dec. 26, 2022
Ukrainian soldiers prepare to fire a French-made CAESAR self-propelled howitzer towards Russian positions near Avdiivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on December 26, 2022 [File: Libkos/AP Photo]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said his country’s military is working on new plans to cut off supplies of weapons and ammunition sent from abroad for the Ukrainian forces.

During an interview on Russian television on Wednesday, Lavrov said there were calls among military experts to interrupt supply routes channelling weapons from the West to Ukraine.

“We observe that Ukraine is receiving more and more and better Western weapons,” Lavrov said. “Railway lines, bridges and tunnels” are being considered, he said.

“I assume that they will make professional decisions on how to make these deliveries more difficult or, ideally, stop them altogether,” he added.

Lavrov said Russian attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure, such as the country’s energy grid, were already making it more difficult to deliver new weapons.

“And I am convinced that there are other plans being applied in this regard,” he added.

The foreign minister also said he was convinced that Moscow would achieve its goals in Ukraine thanks to its “patience” and “perseverance”.

“I am convinced that thanks to our perseverance, patience and determination, we will defend the noble goals that are vital for our people and our country,” he said.

Lavrov said while Moscow wanted the conflict to be over, Russia would take its time to achieve its goals on the battlefield.

“We are in no hurry,” he said.

“We are a patient people. We will protect our compatriots, citizens and lands that have been Russian for centuries.”

The conflict in Ukraine was, in fact, Russia in confrontation with the US and the West by proxy, Lavrov also said.

“We are at war with the collective West led by the United States which is a nuclear power,” he said in comments shared on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account.

The Russian foreign minister also reiterated Moscow’s stance that for talks on ending the war to resume, Kyiv should recognise the annexation of four Ukrainian regions. Though Russia does not fully control the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia, Lavrov confirmed that control over the four regions was Moscow’s ultimate goal.

“Our absolute priority is four new Russian regions,” Lavrov said. “They should become free from the threat of Nazification that they have faced for many years.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s 10-point peace plan – which he has recently promoted and that envisages Russia fully respecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and withdrawing its troops – has been rejected by Moscow.

“There can be no peace plan for Ukraine that does not take into account today’s realities regarding Russian territory, with the entry of four regions into Russia,” Peskov said.

Speaking in Ukraine’s parliament on Wednesday, Zelenskyy said Ukraine had “helped the West find itself again, return to the global stage and to feel the extent to which the West has prevailed”.

“We have helped Europe feel not as several championships with teams of different levels, but as one strong team, which together with the whole free world is fighting for this important victory,” Zelenskyy said in a 45-minute behind-closed-doors speech.

He also told parliament to remain united and that Ukraine was a beacon for the world.

“Our national colours are today an international symbol of courage and indomitability of the whole world,” he said.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies