Russian FM accuses West of direct fighting in Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS, UNITED STATES   -   West­ern powers through their support to Ukraine have ef­fectively entered direct fight­ing against Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lav­rov said on Saturday. “You can call it anything you want, but they are fighting with us, they are straight-up fighting with us. We call it a hybrid war, but that doesn’t change things,” Lavrov told a news conference at the United Na­tions. US President Joe Biden has repeatedly said that he is seeking to avoid a di­rect confrontation with Rus­sia, a fellow nuclear power, and will not send American troops. His administration has also distanced itself from Ukrainian attacks into Rus­sia itself. But Lavrov point­ed to the billions of dollars in Western military equip­ment provided to Ukraine since Russia attacked last year, as well as US and Brit­ish intelligence support and the presence of Western mili­tary advisors. Westerners are “de facto fighting against us, using the hands and bodies of Ukrainians,” Lavrov said. “I think everybody present here who pays at least some attention to... the situation in Ukraine knows very well that Americans, Britons and oth­ers are fighting, first of all, through providing more and more weapons,” he said. He also pointed to the presence in Ukraine of Western merce­naries. The United States and several other Western gov­ernments say that they dis­courage citizens from trav­eling to Ukraine and that such fighters have gone on their own. Lavrov was tak­ing part in the annual Unit­ed Nations General Assem­bly, where all eyes were on Ukrainian President Volody­myr Zelensky, who flew to New York to appeal for great­er support against the inva­sion. Zelensky on Wednesday addressed a special Securi­ty Council session, in which he demanded that Russia be stripped of its veto. Lav­rov showed up well after the Ukrainian president had spo­ken. “I watched it on TV. He seemed rather grim,” Lavrov said. “But I have my own af­fairs to attend to. We all knew what he was going to say, so why waste time?”

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt