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Monday, January 23, 2023 – The speaker of the lower house of Russia’s parliament has warned that countries supplying Ukraine with more powerful weapons risked their own destruction.
The Putin ally’s message on Sunday, January 22 comes after new pledges of armored vehicles, air defense systems and other equipment by NATO and Western countries but not the battle tanks Kyiv requested.
Western countries pledged billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine during a meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday.
Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin (pictured above) said that governments giving more powerful weapons to Ukraine could cause a “global tragedy that would destroy their countries.”
“Supplies of offensive weapons to the Kyiv regime would lead to a global catastrophe,” he said.
“If Washington and NATO supply weapons that would be used for striking peaceful cities and making attempts to seize our territory as they threaten to do, it would trigger a retaliation with more powerful weapons.”
Germany is one of the main donors of weapons to Ukraine, and it ordered a review of its Leopard 2 tank stocks in preparation for a possible green light.
French President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, said Sunday that he does not rule out sending Leclerc battle tanks to Ukraine and had asked his defense minister to “work on” the idea.
Macron spoke during a during a news conference in Paris with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as their countries commemorating the 60th anniversary of their post-World War II friendship treaty. In a joint declaration, France and Germany committed to their “unwavering support” for Ukraine.
Macron said France will make its tank decision based on three criteria: that sharing the equipment does not lead to an escalation of the conflict, that it would provide efficient and workable help when training time is taken into account, and that it wouldn’t weaken France’s own military.
When Scholz was asked about sending the Leopard 2 tanks Sunday, but stressed that his country already has made sizable military contributions to Ukraine.
“The U.S. is doing a lot, Germany is doing a lot, too,” he said. “We have constantly expanded our deliveries with very effective weapons that are already available today. And we have always coordinated all these decisions closely with our important allies and friends.”
Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of the Russian Security Council, said the U.S. led meeting at the air base in Germany “left no doubt that our enemies will try to exhaust or better destroy us,” adding that “they have enough weapons” to achieve the purpose.
Medvedev, a former Russian president, warned on his messaging app channel that “in case of a protracted conflict,” Russia could seek to form a military alliance with “the nations that are fed up with the Americans and a pack of their castrated dogs.”