Interfax: Putin warns U.S. against supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons, which would exacerbate Donbas situation

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

XIAMEN. Sept 5 (Interfax) – The possible delivery of U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine cannot drastically change the Donbas situation but may increase casualties and trigger the use of military force in other territories, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference on Tuesday, after the BRICS summit in Xiamen.

“This [the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine] is a sovereign right of the United States, which can choose whom it will sell weapons or to give them free of charge, and the country receiving such assistance. We cannot have any influence on this process. However, there are international rules and standards: the delivery of weapons to a conflict zone does not help bring peace but only exacerbates the situation,” Putin said.

“In this case, the decision [to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine] will not drastically change the situation, it will not change the situation at all, but the casualty rate will definitely grow,” he said.

“Let me make this clear: nothing will change. There may be more casualties, and this is regretful,” he said.

“There is yet another factor the people hatching such plans should pay attention to,” Putin said.

“The thing is that the self-proclaimed republics have enough weapons, including those they have seized from the opposite side. It is hard to say how the self-proclaimed republics may react to the supply of U.S. weapons to the conflict zone: they may redeploy their weapons to other conflict zones sensitive for those who create problems for them,” Putin said.