© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A US M1A2 “Abrams” tank fires during the US-led “Noble Partner 2016” military exercise near Vaziani, Georgia, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Thursday it saw the delivery of Western tanks to Ukraine as evidence of direct US and European intervention in the conflict.
It was the first Kremlin response to the announcements by the United States and Germany on Wednesday that they would arm Ukraine with more tanks to fight against Russia.
“There is a consistent statement from major European countries and Washington that the delivery of various weapons to Ukraine, including tanks, does not mean that these countries are participating or cooperating in the war in Ukraine,” Kremlin Dmitry Peskov said.
“We don’t really agree with this, and in Moscow, everything that the coalition and the big cities that I mentioned are doing seems to be directly affected by this war. We see that this is growing.”
US President Joe Biden said the tanks were “no problem” for Russia and that they needed to help the Ukrainians “improve their ability to move in open space”.
Ukraine has been in need of hundreds of modern tanks to equip its army with firepower to break through Russian defense lines and retake territory it captured in the south and east. Ukraine and Russia have been relying heavily on Soviet-era T-72 tanks.