Lavrov’s latest threat over long-range weapons sent by NATO countries to Ukraine
- The head of Russian diplomacy could not even fly from Moscow to Serbia because three European countries vetoed the flight in their airspace
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has slammed NATO countries that have announced the shipment of long-range weapons to Ukraine. The warning comes a few hours after the UK government announced that it will proceed with the first shipment of a multiple rocket launcher system with a range of 80 kilometers, far beyond the artillery that Kyiv possesses.
Lavrov, very angry after being the victim of a veto by three countries to prevent his plane from flying to Serbia, has said that “the greater the range of the weapons sent to Ukraine by the West, the more we will move the neo-Nazis away from that line from which threats to Russian speakers and the Russian Federation can come”.
In recent days, the United States has approved the shipment of long-range rocket launcher systems. The United Kingdom has followed in its footsteps and revealed on Monday that Ukrainian military personnel will receive training in the coming weeks on British territory to learn how to use these systems, while stressing that the corresponding M31A1 ammunition will be delivered with these systems for their use.
Lavrov’s plane, vetoed
Lavrov appeared visibly angry after his plane to Serbia was vetoed. The Russian minister has branded as “intolerable” the decision by North Macedonia, Montenegro and Bulgaria not to give permission for the plane he was traveling on to be able to reach Serbia, where he was scheduled to pay an official visit. “There are many questions about the reaction to the unprecedented decisions taken by some NATO members, which prevented the Russian foreign minister’s visit to Serbia,” said Lavrov himself, who described what happened as “inconceivable.”
Serbia is a candidate for accession to the European Union, but it is the only European country that has not joined the sanctions against Russia, its traditional ally. Lavrov’s visit to the Balkan country was to take place a few days before that of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
“A sovereign state has been deprived of its right to conduct its foreign policy. Serbia’s international activities in the direction of Russia have been blocked, at least for the time being,” the Russian minister denounced, Interfax news agency reported.
The Bulgarian government confirmed Monday that it closed its airspace to the plane carrying Lavrov in connection with the regime of sanctions levied by the European Union (EU) against Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine, triggered on February 24, according to the Bulgarian news agency BTA.
Lavrov was scheduled to visit Serbia on June 6-7, but Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic acknowledged that “the situation is getting complicated.” Earlier on Sunday, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic acknowledged the problem. “It is unbelievable that the situation in Europe and the world is such that the president of a country has to deal with such things as the logistical organization of a trip of a foreign minister of another country and that it depends on that whether he comes or not,” Brnabic argued in statements to Serbian television.