Following Washington’s announcement of its decision to provide lethal weapons to Kiev, it didn’t take long for Moscow to come out criticizing the move for undermining the Minsk Agreement as the conflict in the Eastern part of Ukraine which seems to be a frozen one might turn hot. Russia accuses the US of encouraging bloodshed by supplying tank busters as well other ammunition to the Ukrainian military as it continues the fight against pro-separatist rebels in the Donbass region.
The US has always stood by its position of seeking peace through strength and military hardware to the Ukrainians could be seen as part of that foreign policy doctrine but since Kiev hasn’t lived up to the Minsk Agreement where autonomy for the conflict region and granting amnesties to separatists was among the clauses to be reached, it’s safe to say Moscow sees the provision of weaponry as an attempt to escalate the conflict.
As a major superpower, the US doesn’t need Russia’s permission to supply military equipment to any country which it deems necessary to do so. Having annexed the Crimea, part of the Ukrainian territory in 2014- Russia hasn’t only shown bad faith but how aggressive it could be in reshaping international borders using military might. With presidential elections coming up in 2019 in Ukraine, Moscow has reason to believe the government in Kiev is looking for yet another distraction throughout 2018 to make up for failings over the last few years of President Poroshenko’s administration. Reigniting the frozen conflict all over again in Eastern Ukraine to turn the focus from the corruption and tanking economy is one way to go about it.
BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst