Kremlin says new Western armored vehicles for Ukraine will ‘aggravate suffering’

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

France and Germany announced last week that they would send light combat vehicles to Ukraine, boosting their military support in Kyiv. The United States said it would also supply armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine.

“This supply cannot change anything,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

“These supplies can only add to the pain of the Ukrainian people and prolong their suffering. They are not capable of preventing us from achieving the objectives of the special military operation,” Peskov said.

Ukraine, which has had some success on the battlefield since Russian forces invaded last February, has asked Western allies for heavier weapons and air defenses as it seeks to tip the balance of the conflict. , which is now in its 11th month, even more in its favor.

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

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

Macron was criticized in Ukraine and some Western capitals for spending hours phoning Putin in the first weeks of the Russian invasion.

As recently as last month, Macron was chastised by the Baltic states for saying the West should consider Russia’s need for “security guarantees” in any future talks aimed at ending the fighting.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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