90 tons of weapons and ammunition provided by the United States arrived in Ukraine to defend against Russia

File image: Workers unload a shipment of ammunition delivered as part of the security assistance from the United States of America to Ukraine, at the Boryspil international airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine, on November 14, 2021 (Reuters) ) (US EMBASSY IN UKRAINE/)

About Some 90 tons of weapons and ammunition provided by the United States have landed this Saturday at the Ukrainian Boryspil airport (about 29 kilometers east of Kiev) as far as the first batch of additional aid for Ukraine approved in December by the White House and at a height of tension with Russia over the build-up of troops on the border.

The United States Embassy in Ukraine has confirmed the arrival of the plane, although it has not specified exactly the material it was transporting beyond describing it as “lethal aid, including ammunition, for the defenders of the Ukraine front.”

“This demonstrates the firm commitment of the United States to the sovereign right of Ukraine to self-defense”, according to the Embassy statement, published on its Twitter account.

“This shipment, as well as the $2.7 billion in aid provided to Ukraine since 2014, demonstrates the United States’ commitment to bolstering its defenses against ever-increasing Russian aggression,” the diplomatic mission added.

Although the White House approved this new item in December, the information was not released until this week, when it was confirmed by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

Russia has repeatedly spoken out against the arrival of military equipment in Ukraine, understanding that it only serves to increase military tension in the area, as had recently happened with another shipment of light anti-tank weapons delivered by the United Kingdom.

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The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have also expressed interest in sending US-made anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine.

USA and Russia will meet again

Russia and the United States will meet again “next week” after holding “frank” talks in Geneva yesterday on the crisis around Ukraine, on whose border Russian military forces are still concentrated. The Geneva meeting between the heads of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, and American, Anthony Blinken, was the latest in a series of diplomatic initiatives that began with two telephone conversations between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden in December.

Although the tone was “frank and substantial,” according to Blinken, it also served to defuse tensions after weeks of verbal escalation. Lavrov said he had agreed with the US secretary of state “a reasonable dialogue” to “calm emotions” after less than two hours of meeting.

After the meeting, however, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned in a statement that if Westerners continue to “ignore Russia’s legitimate concerns” regarding NATO expansion in Ukraine and on its western border, there will be “serious consequences.” . “This can be avoided if Washington reacts positively to our draft agreements on security guarantees,” the ministry said.

The head of US diplomacy asked Russia to show that it has no intention of invading its neighbor and “a very good way to start would be to de-escalate, to push those forces back to the Ukraine border,” Blinken said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken greeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov before talks in Geneva on January 21, 2022 (Reuters) (RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY/)

The Kremlin denies any warlike intention, but conditions the de-escalation to the signing of treaties that guarantee the non-expansion of NATO and the withdrawal of the transatlantic Alliance from Eastern Europe. Something unacceptable, according to the West, which threatens Russia with harsh sanctions if it attacks Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.

Blinken agreed to put “ideas” on the table next week, but did not say whether they would meet the Russians’ detailed demands. However, the American warned that there would be a response even in the event of “non-military” aggression by Russia against Ukraine.

The diplomatic equation is complicated. Russia on Friday insisted on the withdrawal of foreign troops from NATO countries that joined the alliance after 1997. Moscow specifically mentioned Bulgaria and Romania, although the list includes 14 countries from the former communist bloc.

Romania considered that demand unacceptable and NATO itself rejected it, claiming that such withdrawal “would create first-class and second-class NATO members,” according to its spokeswoman Oana Lungescu.

The Ukrainian military intelligence service accused Moscow of continuing to “strengthen the fighting capabilities” of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, with tanks, artillery systems and ammunition. Russia is considered, despite its denials, as the main supporter of these combatants and the instigator of the conflict that has left more than 13,000 dead since 2014. That same year it annexed Crimea, in response to a pro-Western revolution in Ukraine.

The president of the Russian lower house, Viacheslav Volódin, announced that the parliament will debate next week a request for Putin to recognize the independence of the two separatist territories of Donetsk and Lugansk.

The Geneva meeting completes a tour of Europe by Antony Blinken to meet with his Ukrainian, German, French and British allies.

Europeans and Americans have insisted that Moscow will face harsh sanctions if it attacks Ukraine. A threat that the Kremlin has ignored for eight years and that has not made it change its policy.

For Moscow, the main goal is to push back NATO, perceived as a threat. For Americans, a withdrawal from Europe is not an option. One possibility would be to work on the defunct nuclear disarmament treaty signed during the Cold War, which former US President Donald Trump had buried.


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