Vladimir Putin told Frenchman Macron and German Scholz that continued arms deliveries to Ukraine were “dangerous”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz against increasing arms deliveries to Ukraine, saying it could lead to further destabilization.
The Kremlin said Putin made his comments during a three-way phone call with French and German leaders on Saturday in which he warned against continued Western arms transfers to Ukraine and blamed the disruption of the world’s food supply by Western sanctions.
Putin told Macron and Scholz that continued arms deliveries to Ukraine were “dangerous”, and he warned “of the risks of further destabilization of the situation and aggravation of the humanitarian crisis”, the official said. Kremlin.
During the 80-minute call, Macron and Scholz in turn demanded an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and a withdrawal of Russian troops from the country, according to the German Chancellor’s spokesperson.
European leaders also urged Putin to engage in serious and direct negotiations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to end the fighting, the spokesperson said.
A Kremlin reading of the three-way call said the Russian leader affirmed “the openness of the Russian side to resuming dialogue”, without mentioning the possibility of direct talks between Putin and Zelensky.
Talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations have taken place both in person and via video link since the Russian military offensive, but recently broke down.
The Kremlin also said Putin stressed in an “in-depth exchange of views” with Macron and Scholz that Russia was working to “establish peaceful life in Mariupol and other liberated towns in Donbass” – the Ukrainian region where Russian forces are now fighting for total control.
The French president’s report on Friday’s appeal noted that Macron and Scholz also asked Putin to release the approximately 2,500 Ukrainian fighters who resisted for weeks inside the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol and then returned to the Russian army.
The three leaders agreed to stay in touch, according to the reading.
More sophisticated and powerful weapons
Putin’s new warning about Western weapons comes as Ukrainian officials have pressured Western nations for more sophisticated and powerful weaponry, particularly multiple rocket launcher systems, to rival the firepower of Russia in the ongoing offensive in the Donbass.
The US Department of Defense on Friday did not confirm a media report that US President Joe Biden’s administration was preparing to send long-range rocket systems to Ukraine.
Russia’s ambassador to the United States on Saturday called such a move “unacceptable” and called on the Biden administration to “drop claims about Ukraine’s military victory.”
A Telegram article published on the official channel of the Russian Embassy quotes Ambassador Anatoliy Antonov as saying that “the unprecedented pumping of weapons into Ukraine greatly increases the risks of an escalation of the conflict”.
The Biden administration and its allies have supplied Ukraine with increasingly sophisticated and diverse weapons to fight the invading Russian forces, including longer-range weapons, such as the M777 howitzer. On May 11, the US House of Representatives passed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, including $8.7 billion to replenish stocks of US arms sent to Ukraine.