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Moscow warns of threat to civil aviation due to Ukraine conflict

Western-supplied anti-air weapons are spreading all over the world due to rampant corruption in Kiev, the Foreign Ministry says

The air defense systems sent to Ukraine by the West could emerge as a deadly threat for civil aircraft in Europe and elsewhere, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

In a statement to RIA Novosti, the ministry noted that Western arms, which include man-portable air defense systems and anti-tank guided missile launchers, “are spreading all over the world into zones of other regional conflicts due to rampant corruption, [and] fall into the hands of organized crime, terrorists, and extremists of various types.”

“Soon, the issue of the safety of civil aviation in the world, including over Europe, will have to be raised,” the ministry stated.

It also claimed that Western weapons enable the “criminal Ukrainian authorities and mercenaries” to launch strikes on civilians, including women and children, in the four former Ukrainian regions that voted overwhelmingly in referendums to become part of Russia last autumn.

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A Nigerian soldier is seen on April 21, 2022 amid small arms and light weapons recovered from bandits during Operation Safe Haven.
Russia warns of Ukraine weapons spillover

“City residential areas, civilian infrastructure have found themselves under systematic strikes by Ukrainian artillery; the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant is being shelled, resulting in the threat of a nuclear catastrophe on the continent,” the Foreign Ministry added.

Russia has repeatedly warned that Western arms provided to Ukraine could end up in the wrong hands. Moscow’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said at a UN Security Council meeting on Monday that Western weapons have already found their way to African militants and European criminals.

However, on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that the US, UK, and France – permanent members of the Council – derailed the meeting by hurling “wanton accusations” at Moscow over the Ukraine conflict.

“Thus, contrary to the constructive mood of the majority of the Security Council members… the conversation that had begun in a substantive and quite professional manner, was reduced to irresponsible political demagogy aimed at further discrediting Russia and other states that are still able to resist the neo-colonial ambitions of the collective West,” Zakharova said.

Since the start of the conflict, Western countries have supplied Ukraine with large amounts of weaponry, including hundreds of air defense systems such as Stingers. Russia has repeatedly warned that these policies make the West a direct participant in the conflict, but will not change the outcome.

April 12, 2023 at 01:22PM

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