The Kremlin brands comments on Ukraine by France's Macron and Britain's Cameron as 'dangerous'

The Kremlin’s spokesman says recent statements by France’s president and Britain’s foreign secretary about the war in Ukraine are “dangerous” and will deepen international tension around the conflict
Visitors look at a Marder armored infantry vehicle from Germany at an exhibition of Western military equipment captured from Kyiv forces during the fighting in Ukraine, in Moscow on Friday, May 3, 2024. The exhibit organized by the Russian Defense Ministry features more than 30 pieces of Western-made heavy equipment, including a U.S.-made M1 Abrams tank and a Bradley armored fighting vehicle. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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Visitors look at a Marder armored infantry vehicle from Germany at an exhibition of Western military equipment captured from Kyiv forces during the fighting in Ukraine, in Moscow on Friday, May 3, 2024. The exhibit organized by the Russian Defense Ministry features more than 30 pieces of Western-made heavy equipment, including a U.S.-made M1 Abrams tank and a Bradley armored fighting vehicle. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Recent statements by France’s president and Britain’s foreign secretary about the war in Ukraine are “dangerous” and will deepen international tension around the conflict, the Kremlin’s spokesman said Friday.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in an interview published Thursday, repeated an earlier comment that he doesn’t exclude sending troops to Ukraine. U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron, meanwhile, said during a visit to Kyiv the same day that Ukraine will be able to use British long-range weapons to strike targets inside Russia — a possibility that some other NATO countries providing weapons have balked at.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov branded Macron’s comment “a very important and very dangerous statement.” Remarks by Macron about possible direct French engagement in the conflict represent a “very dangerous trend,” he said.

Cameron’s statement about Ukraine’s right to use British weapons provided to strike facilities inside Russia is “another very dangerous statement,” Peskov told reporters.

“This is a direct escalation of tensions around the Ukrainian conflict, which potentially may threaten European security, the entire European security architecture,” Peskov said.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 significantly heightened tension between the Kremlin and NATO countries. The alliance countries have provided much of the military hardware that Kyiv is using to fight Russia, ensuring that the tension has continued to simmer. Russia, in turn, has sought help from China, Iran and North Korea, according to the U.S..

As Russia heaps battlefield pressure on depleted Ukrainian forces and appears poised to launch a major offensive, that antagonism has become sharper.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed Friday that Russian troops had captured more than 500 square kilometers (200 square miles) of territory from Ukrainian forces since the start of the year.

“The Russian groups of forces continue to break through the enemy’s strongholds along the entire line of contact,” Shoigu said at a meeting with top military brass.

It was not possible to independently verify claims about the battlefield.

Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that Russian forces have an overwhelming advantage in troops, weapons and ammunition.

Ukraine’s president and foreign minister pressed Cameron during his visit to accelerate the delivery of his country's promised military aid.

“It is important that the weapons included in the U.K. support package announced last week arrive as soon as possible,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on the social platform X.

He said armored vehicles, ammunition and missiles of various types were top of the list.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who also met with Cameron, said on X that the focus was on “speeding up military aid.”

That message was rammed home by the deputy chief of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, Major-General Vadym Skibitsky, who said Russia is trying to exploit its current advantage in weapons and manpower and is planning a major offensive this summer.

“Our problem is very simple: We have no weapons,” Skibitsky was quoted as saying in an interview with The Economist published Friday.

Vital support pledged by Western allies to help Ukraine fend off the Kremlin's forces has been delayed by political disagreements in the United States and a lack of manufacturing capacity in Europe. That has opened a door to advances for the bigger and better-equipped Russian army, especially along the front line in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine and its Western partners are in a race against the clock to deploy the new military aid, especially a fresh batch of U.S. support, in coming weeks and prevent Russia taking more ground.

The pressing concern at the moment is keeping the strategic eastern hilltop city of Chasiv Yar out of Russian hands. Capturing the city would offer Russia the opportunity of attacking other key cities deeper inside the Donetsk region and hitting important Ukrainian supply lines.

Chasiv Yar is being battered by Russian artillery, drones and missiles. Glide bombs have also been deployed. They are half-ton bombs fitted with wings and launched from aircraft from behind Russian lines. They demolish buildings and leave huge craters, unnerving local defenders.

Russia used a similar strategy of relentless bombardment to force Ukrainian troops out of Avdiivka in February.

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Visitors look at a French-made AMX-10RC armored vehicle at an exhibition of Western military equipment captured from Kyiv forces during the fighting in Ukraine, in Moscow on Friday, May 3, 2024. The exhibit organized by the Russian Defense Ministry features more than 30 pieces of Western-made heavy equipment, including a U.S.-made M1 Abrams tank and a Bradley armored fighting vehicle. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy talk with Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 2, 2024. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

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A Russian officer, speaks to foreign military attaches standing at a U.S.-made M1 Abrams tank during their visit an exhibition of Western military equipment captured from Kyiv forces during the fighting in Ukraine, in Moscow on Friday, May 3, 2024. The exhibit organized by the Russian Defense Ministry features more than 30 pieces of Western-made heavy equipment, including a U.S.-made M1 Abrams tank and a Bradley armored fighting vehicle. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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