February 5, 2023

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The Kremlin: New Western armored vehicles for Ukraine will increase suffering

(Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Monday that new shipments of Western weapons, including French-made armored vehicles, to Kyiv would “increase the suffering of the Ukrainian people” and would not change the course of the conflict.

France and Germany announced last week that they would send light combat vehicles to Ukraine, stepping up their military support for Kiev. The United States said it would also provide armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine.

“This offer will not be able to change anything,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

“These supplies can only increase the pain of the Ukrainian people and prolong their suffering. They are not able to prevent us from achieving the goals of the special military operation,” Peskov said.

Ukraine, which has achieved some successes on the battlefield since Russian forces invaded last February, has asked Western allies for heavy weapons and air defenses as it seeks to tip the balance of the conflict, now in its eleventh month, in its favour.

The Kremlin also said on Monday that despite France’s decision to send more weapons to Kyiv, Moscow appreciates President Emmanuel Macron’s contribution to maintaining dialogue between the West and Russia.

“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin and Macron are in contact, there are pauses in the dialogue, but during the previous stages that contact was very useful and constructive, despite all the differences,” Peskov said.

Macron was criticized in Ukraine and some Western capitals for holding hours of phone calls to Putin in the first weeks of the Russian invasion.

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Just last month, the Baltic states criticized Macron for saying the West should consider Russia’s need for “security guarantees” in any future talks to end the fighting.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Gareth Jones)