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Russia says West’s supply of heavy arms to Ukraine will trigger ‘global catastrophe’

File photo by AP shows US Army personnel preparing to unload Bradley Fighting Vehicles north of Vilnius, Lithuania.

A senior Russian official has warned that deliveries of offensive weapons to Ukraine by the United States and NATO for attacks on Russia would lead to a global catastrophe.

Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the lower house of the Russian Parliament, made the remarks in a post on his Telegram channel on Sunday, after Ukraine’s allies promised Kiev a new military aid package worth billions of dollars last week.

"Supplies of offensive weapons to the Kiev regime would lead to a global disaster. If Washington and NATO countries supply weapons that will be used to strike civilian cities and attempt to seize our territories, as they threaten, this will lead to retaliatory measures using more powerful weapons," Volodin said.

“Arguments that nuclear powers have not previously used weapons of mass destruction in local conflicts are untenable,” stressing that “Those states did not face a situation where the security of their citizens or their territorial integrity was at stake.”

The senior Russian lawmaker called on members of the US Congress, Germany’s Bundestag, France’s National Assembly and other European parliamentarians to realize their responsibility for humankind, warning that they are pushing the world to a “disastrous war” by their decisions.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, has already warned NATO that the defeat of Russia in Ukraine could trigger a nuclear war. The Kremlin has also warned of escalating the conflict to a "whole new level" if the West meets Ukraine's latest calls for longer-range weapons.

On January 20, Western military leaders agreed to provide Kiev with billions of dollars' worth of military hardware, including armored vehicles and munitions, despite Russia’s warnings against arming the former Soviet republic. However, they failed to persuade Germany to lift a veto on delivering German-made Leopard tanks which Kiev has requested, with Berlin facing backlash from NATO partners over its refusal. Berlin has been hesitant to send the Leopards or allow other nations to transfer them to Kiev, with reports early last week saying it would agree to do so only if the US provided its tanks as well

Washington has said providing US-made Abrams tanks to Ukraine is not feasible, citing difficulties in training and maintenance.

Russia started its "special military operation" in Ukraine with the declared aim of "de-Nazifying" the country on February 24, 2022. Since then, the US and Europe have imposed waves of unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow and have given Ukraine tens of billions of dollars' worth of weaponry, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles and communications systems.

The Kremlin has warned time and again that the West’s sanctions and military support will only prolong the war and not stop Russia from achieving its declared objectives in the pro-Russian areas of Ukraine.

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