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Western arms shipments are legitimate military target: Russia

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia has "warned the US that pumping weapons from a number of countries it orchestrates isn't just a dangerous move, it's an action that makes those convoys legitimate targets".

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Moscow: A senior Russian diplomat on Saturday warned that Western arms shipments to Ukraine will be considered as “legitimate” military targets.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia has “warned the US that pumping weapons from a number of countries it orchestrates isn’t just a dangerous move, it’s an action that makes those convoys legitimate targets”.

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He also denounced US sanctions against Moscow as an “unprecedented attempt to deal a serious blow to various sectors of the Russian economy”, but insisted Russia would act in a measured way to avoid hurting itself, Sky News reported.

He further said Russian did not intend to expel Western media and businesses, adding: “We aren’t going to escalate the situation.” The minister also said Russia was ready to work again with the United States on security issues and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), according to state media RIA Novosti.

He said, “If the Americans are ready for this, we will, of course, be able to resume dialogue and are determined to do so, as well as to work on the START, where there is also a certain pause. It all depends on Washington.

“We have not withdrawn from the US strategic stability dialogue. It has been suspended by Washington, apparently under the illusion that we need this dialogue more than Washington. Absolutely not.” 

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