Russia’s Tass news agency today cited the chairman of the International Affairs Committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament (the State Duma) warning that the provision of lethal weapons by the U.S. to Ukraine, as is authorized by an impending Senate bill, would exacerbate the situation in the war-torn Donbass region. He added that the independent republics in Donetsk and Lugansk would only grow more alienated from Kiev as a result.
In response to recent comments by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, now in the Ukrainian capital, Slutsky admonished:
“US assistance to Ukraine will harm the de-escalation process in Donbass. The question is here what kind of assistance is that going to be? If the issue at hand is the supply of lethal weapons, then, evidently, saber-rattling will not help bring the DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] and LPR [Lugansk People’s Republic] back to the zone of Kiev’s full influence.”
The deputy also referred to the earlier role of now-President Biden in engineering the seven-year crisis when he “made considerable efforts to tear Ukraine away from Russia, to prevent [Ukraine’s] re-Sovietization, as [former US Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton said.”
Biden’s role in the undermining and overthrowing of the internationally-recognized government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, with the enduring war in the Donbass the inevitable result, was at least as substantive as that of now Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, currently with Blinken in Kiev.
The Duma chairman also warned of far more menacing prospects of war between the world’s two major nuclear superpowers in stating:
“The current assistance is still aimed exclusively at carrying out that concept. The United States has repeatedly demonstrated through its actions that it is not interested in a peaceful solution to the intra-Ukrainian conflict. It is advantageous for it to maintain an active military phase of the confrontation close to Russia’s borders.
“The real objective is to contain Russia, not to help Ukraine.”
As though to confirm Slutsky’s accusation, today Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, after meeting with his American counterpart Antony Blinken, said that the collective support of the West would demonstrate to Russia that Ukraine stands steadfast as “an integral part” of the West:
“Not as a balance, not as something in the middle between the West and Russia, not as a part that broke away from the ‘Russian world,’ or there are such popular concepts as ‘a bridge between Russia and the West,’ or, as some say, ‘a buffer between Russia and the West’. Only a clear signal to Moscow that Ukraine is part of the West, an integral part of the democratic world – this will be the beginning of the end of Russian aggression against Ukraine.”
Kuleba also stated he would request further military assistance from the U.S. and would present Secretary Blinken with “a list of military support” he expects from Washington. He specified air defense systems and anti-sniper technology among the requested aid.
To make the arrangement more palatable to his American guest, he added:”I want to make it clear that it is not only about receiving it from the United States, but also about buying it from the United States. We want this partnership to work in both ways. It should be mutually beneficial.”
Lastly, Kuleba affirmed the U.S. as Ukraine’s “number one ally” in matters of security and defense, adding, “This is true, and we will continue to work with them to get our territories liberated….”
Rick Rozoff is a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is the manager of Stop NATO. This originally appeared at Anti-Bellum.