Russia warns US of 'consequences' of providing military aid to Ukraine
Moscow warns it will intensify attacks on Kyiv in response to Ukrainian strikes on Russian soil: Five million flee Ukraine
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In a diplomatic note this week, Moscow warned the United States and NATO against sending the "most sensitive" weapons for Kyiv to use in the conflict with Russia, saying such shipments were "adding fuel" to the situation and could come with "unpredictable consequences," the Washington Post reported.
"What the Russians are telling us privately is precisely what we've been telling the world publicly -- that the massive amount of assistance that we've been providing our Ukrainian partners is proving extraordinarily effective," the Post quoted a senior administration official -- who spoke on condition of anonymity about the note -- as saying.
The State Department declined to comment on reports of the formal note.
"We won't confirm any private diplomatic correspondence," a State Department spokesperson said.
"What we can confirm is that, along with allies and partners, we are providing Ukraine with billions of dollars' worth of security assistance, which our Ukrainian partners are using to extraordinary effect to defend their country against Russia's unprovoked aggression and horrific acts of violence."
According to the New York Times citing US officials, the note was sent through normal channels, and was not signed by any senior Russian officials.
CNN also reported that one source familiar with the document said the complaint could mean Moscow is getting ready to adopt a more aggressive stance against the United States and NATO as the invasion of Ukraine continues.
"This new package of assistance will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine."
Zelensky for his part tweeted that he and Biden had discussed the "additional package of defensive and possible macro-financial aid."
The new assistance included some of the heavier equipment that Washington had previously refused to provide to Kyiv for fear of escalating the conflict with nuclear-armed Russia, and comes after previous weapons aid already supplied to the Ukrainian army.
Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
- Russia threatens Kyiv -
A Ukrainian military factory outside Kyiv is partially destroyed by overnight Russian strikes, AFP reports, as Moscow warns it will intensify attacks on the capital in response to Ukrainian strikes on Russian soil.
"The number and scale of missile strikes against targets in Kyiv will increase in response to any terrorist attacks or sabotage committed by the Kyiv nationalist regime on Russian territory," the defence ministry in Moscow says.
- Five million flee Ukraine -
More than five million people have now fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion on February 24, the United Nations says.
The UN's refugee agency lists 4,796,245 million Ukrainians who have crossed the borders, while its International Organization for Migration says nearly 215,000 third-country nationals have also left.
- Russian flagship sinks -
"The Moskva cruiser strike hit not only the ship itself: it hit the enemy's imperial ambitions. We are all aware that we will not be forgiven for this," Natalia Gumeniuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine's southern military forces says.
- Finland NATO bid 'highly likely' -
Finland's European Affairs Minister Tytti Tuppurainen says it is "highly likely" that Finland will apply for NATO membership, just hours after Russia warns of unspecified "consequences" should it and Sweden join the military alliance.
- 'Polish mercenaries' killed -
It says strategic rocket forces "eliminated up to 30 Polish mercenaries" in a strike on the village of Izyumskoe, near the city of Kharkiv.
- Kharkiv offensive -
Russian strikes on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv killed seven people and left another 34 injured, the region's governor says, as Moscow's forces stepped up attacks.
"The occupiers fired on a residential area in Kharkiv. Unfortunately, 34 people were injured, including three children. Seven people died; one among the dead was a child," Oleg Synegubov says on social media.
- EU gas, oil embargo will take 'months' -
The EU is working on broadening sanctions on Russia to include oil and gas embargoes but such measures will take "several months", European officials tell AFP.
Russian energy exports are Moscow's main hard currency earner, and its oil and gas sales to the EU account for between a quarter of a billion to a billion euros per day, per different estimates.
- Russia kicks out EU diplomats -
Moscow says 18 members of the EU mission in Russia have been declared "persona non grata" and must leave the country.
- French radio RFI site blocked -
Russia's media watchdog Roskomnadzor blocks access to the website of French radio station RFI for violating a law banning the dissemination of false or extremist information.
It does not specify how the radio station has fallen foul of the law.