OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Things are getting more intense by the day between the United States and Russia as fears mount that one miscalculation could lead to World War III.
And now Russia has informed the United States that it considers the American convoys carrying weapons to Ukraine to be legitimate military targets.
“We have warned the U.S. that the U.S.-orchestrated inundation of Ukraine with weapons from some countries is not just a dangerous move, but also an action that makes these convoys legitimate targets,” Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov said, The Epoch Times reported.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) declined to comment.
The U.S. State Department didn’t respond to a request for comment.
A senior U.S. defense official told reporters Friday that there had been “no signs” of Russians targeting weapons shipments.
The United States has been providing weapons to Ukraine, including anti-tank and anti-armor missiles.
Ryabkov described such actions as “escalatory.”
“The escalatory component of Washington’s policy absolutely dominates, despite all the incantations that they are extremely responsible people and weigh every step they make,” the deputy foreign minister said.
When he was asked why transferring aircraft from Poland to Ukraine was “high risk,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby explained how the decision was made.
“Just could you give a little more information about this high-risk assessment? Is there anything that’s in the public realm that you could cite that explains why these combat aircraft transfers will be seen as high risk?” the reporter said.
“And you know, is this a new redline by the U.S. Government about things that it won’t do to support Ukraine? Or is this somehow related to the pre-existing red line about no new troops even in airspace?” he said.
“We’re not drawing a red line here, Phil. We’re giving you an honest assessment of how we came to our conclusions about this particular proposal of MIG-29s, that would be transferred to U.S. custody and then given to Ukraine. That’s what we’re here to talk about,” the spokesman said.
“That’s what — that’s the decision that we made. As I answered to Court, we’re constantly with every decision we’re making, with every piece of material and system that we’re providing. We’re always going through the calculus of the need and the potential risk of providing that need. And we’re going to continue to do that going forward.
“And I’m not going to get into the specifics. The sausage making of how that this particular decision got made. I walked through the three justifications the Secretary is very comfortable with this decision. And with those three justifications, and I’m going to just leave it at that,” he said.
But the United States has gone forward with other military aid that intelligence officials have deemed high-risk in terms of escalating the conflict, Kirby said.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, asserting the military action was necessary to “demilitarize and de-Nazify” the neighboring country, which was once part of the Soviet Union.
Ukraine, the United States, and a number of other countries have said the invasion was unprovoked and shouldn’t have happened.
No countries have thus far sent troops to aid Ukraine, though the U.S. military and other NATO members have shipped arms, body armor, and other items to assist Ukrainian forces.
Russian official Nikolai Korbinets said this week that no dialogue with NATO would be possible as it gives weapons to Ukraine to kill Russian troops.
“The weapons intended to kill Russian servicemen. No dialogue with NATO can be possible in these circumstances,” he said.
The deputy foreign minister reiterated these concerns when he responded to the President of the United States this weekend.
“We are not taking any steps, verbal, in the form of statements, whatever, which could be regarded as an escalation, there is none of this,” he said. “Meanwhile, the U.S. top official is openly talking about the danger of a Third World War. This is an attempt to play on the nerves, an attempt to impose their own agenda on international community, to us the destructive goals of this line are evident.”