Canada’s Weapons Supplies to Ukraine to Fuel Conflict: Russian Envoy

Canada’s Weapons Supplies to Ukraine to Fuel Conflict: Russian Envoy

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Canada’s weapons supplies to Ukraine will only fuel the conflict in the country, Russian Ambassador to Ottawa Oleg Stepanov told Canada’s CTV.

"Our position is that any shipment of weapons to a country, which, like Ukraine, is in the middle of a civil war practically, is not conductive to any peace initiatives," Stepanov pointed out, when asked how Russia would respond to Canada sending defensive military weapons to Ukraine.

"It’s just fueling the conflict and emboldening the hotheads in Kiev who have illusions that they can start a military operation and take eastern Ukraine by force," the envoy added, the Tass news agency reported.

When commenting on Russia’s possible response to Canada strengthening its training mission in Ukraine called Operation Unifier, Stepanov said that Moscow had "many concerns about that mission but not about the mission per se."

The ambassador emphasized that according to the Canadian media, dozens of members of neo-Nazi units had been trained in Operation Unifier.

"The less foreign military on the ground in Ukraine, the more chances of success for a diplomatic settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine," Stepanov noted.

The envoy also emphasized that "Russia is conducting regular exercises on its own territory and there is no intent to invade Ukraine."

Since 2015, Canada has been training Ukrainian service members in the country’s Lvov region as part of Operation Unifier. The mission involves about 200 Canadian Armed Forces members.

The West and Kiev have recently been spreading allegations about Russia’s potential ‘invasion’ of Ukraine. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov castigated these claims as "empty and unfounded", serving as a ploy to escalate tensions, pointing out that Russia did not pose any threat whatsoever to anyone.

However, Peskov did not rule out the possibility of provocations aimed at justifying such allegations and warned that attempts to use military force to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine would have serious consequences.

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