Russia's Ambassador Antonov: US Abrams Tanks Delivered to Ukraine Will Be Destroyed
03:36 GMT 25.01.2023 (Updated: 03:43 GMT 25.01.2023)
© AP Photo / Alexander ZemlianichenkoAnatoly Antonov, Russian ambassador to the U.S. gestures while speaking during a round-table discussion on the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 20, 2018.
© AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday, following reports on the supply of Abrams tanks to Ukraine by Washington, that the delivery will become another "blatant provocation" against Russia and warned the Russian military would destroy the equipment.
US media reported earlier on Tuesday that US President Joe Biden is set to announce the delivery of 30-50 Abrams tanks to Ukraine as soon as Wednesday.
"If a decision to transfer to Kiev M1 Abrams is made, American tanks without any doubt will be destroyed as all other samples of NATO military equipment," Antonov said, as quoted by the embassy on Telegram.
"If the United States decides to supply tanks, it will be impossible to justify such step using arguments about 'defensive weapons.' This would be another blatant provocation against the Russian Federation. No one should have illusions about who is real aggressor in the current conflict."
The ambassador added that the US "is deliberately trying to inflict strategic defeat" on Russia and "gives 'green light' to use of American assistance for attacks on the Crimea."
"A growing number of officials and experts in America admit: it is all about US 'proxy-war' with our country," adding that "the Americans are constantly raising the 'bar' of military assistance to their puppet government," which is especially clear when the Russian military "gain new victories and confidently liberate the territory of Russia from the Nazi threat."
Western countries ramped up their military support for Ukraine after Russia launched a special military operation there on February 24, 2022, responding to calls for help from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
In April, Moscow sent a note to NATO member states condemning their military assistance to Kiev. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that any arms shipments on Ukrainian territory would be "legitimate targets" for Russian forces.