MINSK, May 25. /TASS/. Western countries are putting intense pressure on the Ukrainian government to demonstrate tactical successes on the battlefield and, to that end, are pumping the country with weapons, which will result in escalation leading to a protracted conflict, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday.
"The tensest situation today is in the Eastern European region. The West is insisting that the Kiev regime show tactical successes and a readiness to fight ‘to the last Ukrainian,’ pumping it with weapons with no regard for losses. Military and technical aid to Kiev has already exceeded $65 billion," Shoigu said at a meeting in Minsk of the Council of Defense Ministers under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
"More than 2,500 foreign mercenaries are implicated in punitive actions and combat operations," Shoigu said. "Terrorist methods of fighting are being employed, including sabotage and high-profile assassinations."
According to him, such tactics are triggering escalation, thus leading to a protracted conflict.
Addressing the military and political situation in the regions covered by the CSTO, Shoigu noted the destructive activities of the United States and its allies aimed at fomenting hotbeds of tension near the borders of CSTO member states.
"I largely agree with the assessments of the military-political situation in the CSTO regions that have been voiced today. The situation remains extremely unstable, thus requiring our close attention and constant monitoring. The destructive activity of the US and its allies to foment hotbeds of tension near the borders of CSTO countries has had a negative impact. [They are] provoking crises and conflicts, aiding and abetting terrorist and extremist networks, and employing all kinds of sanctions, threats and blackmail," the Russian defense minister said.