Interfax: Moscow will not stay indifferent to U.S. decision on lethal arms supplies to Kiev

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

(Interfax – March 24, 2015)

Russia will not stay indifferent to Washington’s possible decision to begin supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine, Alexei Pushkov, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee in the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia’s parliament, has said.

“The Congress is urging the president of the United States to begin delivering weapons to the country which has extremely complicated relations with Russia, one of the world’s leading states and a country that has nuclear weapons. If these weapons are sent, the American Congress and the American executive branch of power, if it makes such a decision, will embark on a path toward sharply hiking the grade of confrontation,” Pushkov told Interfax on Tuesday.

Alexei Pushkov file photo

“I do not think that Russia will stay indifferent to such a decision, should it be adopted,” he added.

Pushkov offered his comments after the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution urging President Barack Obama to send lethal weapons to Ukraine.

The Russian parliamentarian believes that this resolution is “aggressive”, uses distorted facts and reflects both anti-Russian sentiments of the majority of American politicians and the “hegemonistic hysteria that is now gaining momentum in the U.S. and will obviously intensify even further during the election campaign,” Pushkov said.

“At the same time, this resolution is highly dangerous and extremely irresponsible because many wars, including the war in Vietnam, started with the delivery of American weapons to other countries,” he said.

At the moment, everything depends on President Obama’s decision, he added.

“Obama came to power using anti-war slogans and was one of the few American senators who voted against the war in Iraq. Obama should realize that arms deliveries could pave the way for the United States’ involvement in this conflict, subsequently leading to an uncontrolled and extremely dangerous course of events,” Pushkov said.

“That is why, if Obama is still committed to his anti-war principles, although he recently has not followed them in a consistent manner and can be accused of many things, but if he still realizes that America should not get involved in civil conflicts, he ought to make an appropriate decision,” Pushkov said.

However, very strong pressure is being put on Obama today, including by his own administration, the Russian parliamentarian said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also favors the idea of lethal arms supplies to Ukraine, he said.

All these circumstances make the prospects of Obama making a positive decision of this issue “quite probable,” Pushkov said.

[featured images are file photos]