The war in Ukraine will continue if Great Britain continues to supply weapons to the forces of President Zelensky, the Russian ambassador in London told Sky News.
Andrei Kelin told Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan that UK-supplied weapons are now being used to target civilians in Donbas region Eastern Ukraine.
He said: “The conflict will end and… may end quite quickly because… Britain will realize that there is no way to defeat Russia.
“The conflict will drag on if Great Britain continues to supply weapons, which are now also used to shell cities and civilians in Donbass and other areas.
“And the more Britain will send weapons, the longer the Ukrainian… authorities will last.” [will] continue the conflict.”
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In June, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Britain had bought and was refurbishing more than 20 long-range 155mm guns from a Belgian arms firm to send to Ukraine, but it was not known whether they had been delivered or were being used.
He and other defense ministers also confirmed that salvo and short-range missile systems would be sent. Ukrainian military personnel received training in the UK on a number of weapons.
But Sky News has no independent confirmation that any of the weapons supplied have resulted in civilian deaths.
Mr Kellyn added that the new UK government, if formed after a new Conservative leader is elected, must be realistic about its policy on Ukraine as “the conflict will not go on forever”.
He denied lying when he spoke to Sky News in January Russia has no intention of invading Ukraine, insisting that he was only saying what he knew “at the time”.
He described British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian government’s efforts to fend off the Russian invasion as “totally misguided.”
He said: “It’s a miscalculation, a strategic miscalculation of what’s going on there, because … Russia is winning and winning quite quickly.
“Great Britain is trying to supply arms to Ukraine, but the longer it continues to supply arms to Ukraine, the more suffering there will be for Ukraine.
“Now it is clear that Ukraine is losing ground and [we are] in Donbass… I wonder what the British government’s exit strategy will be if it continues to repeat that Ukraine must win? It’s just unreal.”
When asked about war crimes, which some Conservative leadership candidates have accused Russia of committing in the past, he said that the war crimes were committed by Ukraine..
He continued: “First of all, we have a list of crimes that were committed in eight years, when Ukrainians bombed Donbass, fired at innocent people there, killed civilians.
“And now the same thing continues… in particular in the Donbass. This has been going on for eight years. We have such a record and will refer to it..
“We have a long history of Ukrainian crimes committed during and after [the] coup there and during the civil war.“
Despite this, on Thursday, more than 40 US and European judicial authorities agreed to coordinate the investigation of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine.
Due to the fact that ships cannot reach the Black Sea ports due to the Russian blockade, he said that it is up to Ukraine to remove the mines that prevent the passage of goods.
His comments came as Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations worked on an agreement aimed at resuming grain exports from Ukraine.
Mr Kellin said he was confident a deal would be struck to allow the grain ships to pass.
He said: “Merchant ships will be escorted, I think, and that’s on the negotiating table now, but maybe [the] The Turks will take part in it. For this purpose, we are currently creating a control center in Turkey.”
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Asked whether Russia would use weapons to cut gas supplies to Europe in the autumn, Mr Kelin said the EU had decided to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, not the Kremlin.
Fears are growing that prolonged gas shortages could send Europe into a deep recession – signs of which are already showing.
He said: “It is the European Union that has said that by 2030, I think they will completely minimize the consumption of gas, oil and energy from Russia and by this year they will stop it.
“Therefore, they gradually reduce the consumption of our energy carriers.
“Now, of course, we would like to fulfill all our contracts… We have a reputation [as a] reliable supplier and we will continue to supply it. But on the other hand, we also have to take measures to find some alternatives, because while they are cutting back, we need to find other markets for it.”
The full interview will be on Sky News Tonight with Dermot Murnaghan at 8.30pm tonight.