(The Hill) – Russia has sent a formal letter to the U.S. warning that shipments of sensitive weapons from the United States and NATO were exacerbating tensions in Ukraine and could lead to “unpredictable consequences,” The Washington Post reported.
The letter, which was viewed by the Post, added that the U.S. has flouted the rules governing the transfer of weapons to conflict zones.
According to the letter, dated Tuesday, Russia accused NATO of impeding early peace negotiations with Ukraine “in order to continue the bloodshed.”
The State Department declined to confirm any private diplomatic correspondence.
However, a spokesperson added that it can confirm that along with allies and partners, “we are providing Ukraine with billions of dollars worth of security assistance, which our Ukrainian partners are using to extraordinary effect to defend their country against Russia’s unprovoked aggression and horrific acts of violence.”
The news of the diplomatic letter comes as President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million in military assistance to Ukraine this week, which for the first time included advanced munitions that the war-torn country has requested.
“The Ukrainian military has used the weapons we are providing to devastating effect. As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbas region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself,” Biden said.
The most recent round of U.S. security assistance includes a mixture of arms and other supplies that Washington has already provided Kyiv, as well as new capabilities that had not previously been sent over.
According to the Pentagon, the aid package includes 11 Mi-17 helicopters, 300 Switchblade drones, 200 M113 armored personnel carriers, 18 howitzers and 40,000 artillery rounds, 10 counter-artillery radars, 500 Javelin missiles, unmanned coastal defense vessels and protective equipment in the event of a chemical or biological weapons attack.
The president has also imposed a raft of sanctions on Russia in response to the invasion.
The Russians have withdrawn forces from around the Ukrainian capital after weeks of trying to capture Kyiv unsuccessfully and are expected to focus attacks on the south and east, including the Donbas region.