OTTAWA, February 15. /TASS/. The Canadian authorities’ decision to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine will only exacerbate the conflict, Russian Ambassador to Ottawa Oleg Stepanov told TASS.
"Any weapons supplies to a country that has an unresolved domestic armed conflict are unacceptable. This does not help establish peace and only prolongs and exacerbates the fratricidal conflict in Ukraine," he pointed out. "By providing weapons, Western countries are pushing the Kiev regime to continue a war against its own people," the envoy added.
Stepanov emphasized that Russia "calls on the Canadian government to stop such actions and instead use its special influence on the Kiev authorities to bring them to the negotiating table with Donetsk and Lugansk and encourage them to fully and unconditionally implement the Minsk Package of Measures."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that Ottawa had decided to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons worth 7.8 mln Canadian dollars. According to the Canadian Department of National Defense, "this equipment includes machine guns, pistols, carbines, 1.5 million rounds of ammunition, sniper rifles, and various related equipment."
The West and Kiev have recently been echoing allegations about Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov castigated these claims as "empty and unfounded", serving as a ploy to escalate tensions, pointing out that Russia did not pose any threat whatsoever to anyone. However, Peskov did not rule out the possibility of provocations aimed at justifying such claims and warned that attempts to use military force to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine would have serious consequences.