The UK government has started supplying Ukraine with anti-tank weaponry in response to “increasingly threatening Russian behavior” in the border area, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace announced, adding that London will send “a small number” of troops for training.

“We have taken the decision to deliver to Ukraine anti-tank defense systems,” Wallace told the House of Commons, as reported by the British newspaper ‘The Guardian’. The minister insisted that the weapons are defensive, although Moscow has repeatedly denounced the sale of modern weapons to Kiev.

In this sense, the British minister stressed that “this support is for short-range and clearly defensive capabilities”. “They are not strategic weapons and pose no threat to Russia. They are for use in self-defense,” he stressed.

He has also outlined that “there is a package of international sanctions ready to be applied” if Russia takes further “destabilizing actions” regarding Ukraine, as reported by the British television network BBC.

“We want to be friends with the Russian people, as we have been for hundreds of years. There is a world in which we can establish a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia,” he added, before showing his hope that “diplomacy will prevail.” “It is the choice of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin whether he chooses diplomacy and dialogue or conflict and consequences,” he has stated.

“I have visited Ukraine five times since 2016 and I know that Ukrainians are a proud people who will fight for their country, for democracy and for freedom,” he has noted. “Any invasion will not be seen as liberation, but as occupation, and I fear it would lead to a huge loss of life for all sides,” he has remonstrated.

The British Ministry of Defense has not detailed for now what type of weaponry it has sent to Ukraine and neither the number of weapons it has sent, although arms experts quoted by the newspaper have pointed out that they would be new-generation anti-tank weapons not as powerful as the ‘Javelin’ missiles delivered by the United States to Kiev since 2018.

For his part, the Ukrainian ambassador in London, Vadim Pristaiko, has told the BBC that Kiev applauds the shipment but has pointed out that the biggest problem is not being a member of NATO. “We want to be in NATO. We face the largest army in Europe on our own,” he said.

Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoli Antonov, said last week that accusations against Moscow over its alleged preparations for an invasion of Ukraine “are the result of a mental disorder” and blamed these allegations on “the sick imagination of Russophobic circles.”

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