Russia said Wednesday that supplies of long-range weapons to Ukraine would not deter Russian forces, but would increase tensions and escalate the conflict.
The comments from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov came amid reports the United States is preparing a new round of aid that would include longer-range rockets to help Ukrainian forces fight off a Russian invasion.
Reuters reported that according to two U.S. officials briefed on the matter, a weapon called the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb with a range of 150 kilometers was part of the package expected to be announced as soon as this week.
Also expected to be included were Javelin anti-tank weapons, counter-drone and counter-artillery systems, armored vehicles, communications equipment, and enough medical equipment to support three field hospitals.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, tweeted Wednesday that each stage of war requires certain weapons. He said there is already a coalition of partners helping Ukraine obtain and train to use tanks, and that there are “talks on longer-range missiles and attack aircraft supply.”
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleskii Reznikov said Wednesday, a day after meeting with French officials, that he was grateful to France for providing howitzers, air defense missiles and armored vehicles, as well as fuel, equipment and training for Ukrainian soldiers.
Ukraine won a boost last week when the United States and Germany both promised to send tanks to Ukraine, after Germany hesitated for weeks over sending its advanced Leopard 2 tanks.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba estimated Tuesday that a dozen countries have now promised more than 100 tanks, which he described as the “first wave of contributions.”
Ukrainian officials have called on their Western allies to send fighter jets in order to better respond to the Russian attack, but so far, those calls have been met with wariness.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.