Kremlin says new Western armoured vehicles for Ukraine will 'deepen suffering'

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a news conference in Moscow
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a news conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin after a meeting of the State Council on youth policy in Moscow, Russia, December 22, 2022. Sputnik/Valeriy Sharifulin/Pool via REUTERS

Jan 9 (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Monday that new deliveries of Western weapons, including French-made armoured vehicles, to Kyiv would "deepen the suffering of the Ukrainian people" and would not change the course of the conflict.

France and Germany announced last week that they would send light combat vehicles to Ukraine, ramping up their military support for Kyiv. The United States said it would also provide armoured fighting vehicles to Ukraine.

"This supply will not be able to change anything", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

"These supplies can only add to the pain of the Ukrainian people and prolong their suffering. They are not capable of stopping us from achieving the goals of the special military operation," Peskov said.

Ukraine, which has scored some battlefield successes since Russian forces invaded last February, has asked Western allies for heavier weapons and air defences as it seeks to tip the balance of the conflict, now in its 11th month, further in its favour.

The Kremlin also said on Monday that despite France's decision to send more weapons to Kyiv, Moscow appreciated President Emmanuel Macron's contribution towards maintaining dialogue between the West and Russia.

"(Russian President Vladimir) Putin and Macron maintain contact, there are pauses in the dialogue, but during previous stages that contact was quite useful and constructive, despite all the differences," Peskov said.

Macron was criticised in Ukraine and in some Western capitals for holding hours-long phone calls with Putin in the early weeks of Russia's invasion.

Just last month Macron was rebuked by the Baltic states for saying the West should consider Russia's need for "security guarantees" in any future talks to end the fighting.

Reporting by Reuters Editing by Gareth Jones

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