Russia: British long-range missiles to Ukraine ‘dangerous escalation’

Russia: British long-range missiles to Ukraine ‘dangerous escalation’
Russia: British long-range missiles to Ukraine ‘dangerous escalation’

Yesterday, Moscow condemned London’s decision to supply Kiev with long-range “Storm Shadow” missiles “with a range of Crimea”, and considered the decision as a “very hostile” step and a “dangerous escalation”, amid Belgian aid, announced yesterday, to Ukraine funded by taxes on assets. Frozen Russia, with the European Union renewing its promises to support Kiev “in the long term”, and its challenge to Putin: “We will not fall … and we will not strain.”

In detail, the Russian Foreign Ministry considered the UK’s decision to supply Ukraine with long-range missiles a “very aggressive” step. “We consider this decision to be a very aggressive step by London, aimed at pumping more weapons into Ukraine, which leads to Dangerous escalation.

“It becomes clear that Britain is ready to go beyond all limits and take the conflict to a whole new level in terms of destruction and loss of life,” Moscow added. Russia said it would take all necessary measures to eliminate the threats posed by the new missiles.

In addition, the Belgian government announced the allocation of additional aid to Ukraine of 92 million euros, which was funded by tax revenues on frozen Russian assets.

She explained that half of the aid will be in the form of armored vehicles, weapons and ammunition, and that the first shipments will arrive “very quickly”.

As for the other half, it will be allocated to the population and civilians in the form of humanitarian aid, which will be distributed in major cities in coordination with the United Nations.

“For the war to end, the counter-offensive that Ukraine is planning must be successful,” said Prime Minister Alexander de Croo. The extra support that Belgium is providing today will contribute.” Meanwhile, Belgian Foreign Minister Hajja Lahbib stressed the importance of “accompanying and protecting” the growing number of Ukrainians seeking refuge in neighboring Moldova.

The Prime Minister’s Office told “Agence France Presse” that the taxes on the interests of the frozen Russian assets in Brussels have, to date, amounted to 625 million euros.

Belgium intends to benefit from it by supporting Ukraine militarily and civilly, and hosting Ukrainian refugees on its territory. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the assets of the Russian Central Bank, frozen in Belgium, amount to 180 billion euros.

For his part, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, stressed the importance of the bloc’s support for Ukraine “in the long run.” “Russia and (President Vladimir Putin) must realize that we will not fall,” Borrell said during a meeting of European Union foreign ministers. “So, stop waiting for us to be tired, we won’t be tired,” he added.

Borrell said the bloc should not only provide ammunition now, but also prepare “multi-year support for Ukraine.” And he added, “Ukraine must be sure that we will support it, not only in the daily battles of the war, but in the long term.”

On the ground, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that its forces repelled escalating Ukrainian attack attempts on its positions in the east, and noted that its forces had retreated in one area for reasons related to war planning. The ministry said in a statement that Ukraine had deployed more than 1,000 soldiers and 40 tanks in 26 attempted attacks on a battle front extending more than 95 kilometers.

“We responded to all attacks of the Ukrainian army units…we did not allow any penetration of the defensive lines of the Russian forces,” it said.

On the other hand, Hana Malyar, the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense, confirmed via “Telegram” that the Ukrainian forces had won on the ground around the city, repeating the statements of Ukrainian military leaders earlier this week.

Zelensky in Rome

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit Rome on Saturday, where he will hold talks with the country’s leaders, and is expected to meet Pope Francis on his first visit to Italy since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

A spokesman for the Italian presidency confirmed that President Sergio Mattarella would meet Zelensky, without providing further information for security reasons. A Vatican source said the meeting between Zelensky and Pope Francis was “possible”.