Russian President Vladimir Putin has cautioned French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz against increasing arms shipments to Ukraine, stating that doing so could lead to additional destabilization.
According to the Kremlin, Putin made his remarks during a three-way phone call with the French and German leaders. He warned against the continued transfer of Western weapons to Ukraine and blamed Western sanctions for disrupting global food supplies caused by the conflict.
Putin told Macron and Scholz that continuing to provide Ukraine with weaponry was "dangerous," He warned of "the risks of further destabilization of the situation and escalation of the humanitarian crisis," according to the Kremlin.
According to a representative of the German chancellor, Macron and Scholz advocated an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine and the departure of Russian soldiers during their 80-minute chat.
The spokesperson added that the European leaders urged Putin to engage in serious and direct conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to cease the conflict.
A Kremlin summary of the three-way contact stated that the Russian leader expressed "the openness of the Russian side to the resumption of dialogue," but made no mention of the potential of direct talks between Putin and Zelenskyy.
Since the Russian military offensive, talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegates have taken place in person and via video link, but they have recently stalled.
During an "in-depth exchange of views" with Macron and Scholz, Putin emphasized, according to the Kremlin, that Russia was trying to "establish a peaceful life in Mariupol and other liberated cities in the Donbas." In this Ukrainian territory, Russian soldiers are currently battling for complete control.
According to the French president's report on Friday's call, macron and Scholz requested Putin to release an estimated 2,500 Ukrainian fighters who held out for weeks inside the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol and ultimately surrendered to the Russian army.
According to the transcript, the three leaders promised to remain in contact.
More advanced and potent armaments
Putin's fresh warning about Western weaponry comes as Ukrainian leaders have lobbied Western nations for more advanced and potent weapons, particularly multiple launch rocket systems, to fight with Russia's firepower in the current offensive in Donbas.
On Friday, the US Department of Defense refused to acknowledge a media allegation that the administration of US President Joe Biden was planning to deliver long-range rocket systems to Ukraine.
Saturday, the Russian ambassador to the United States termed such a step "unacceptable" and demanded that the Biden administration "cease making statements about Ukraine's military victory."
A Telegram message issued on the official channel of the Russian embassy quoted ambassador Anatoliy Antonov as saying that "the unprecedented flow of weapons into Ukraine significantly increases the likelihood of a conflict escalation."
To confront Russia's invasion forces, the Biden administration and its allies have supplied Ukraine with increasingly advanced and diversified weapons, like M777 howitzers. The US House of Representatives approved a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine on May 11, which included $8.7 billion to replenish US armament inventories supplied to Ukraine.