US 'cleaning' EU of domestic weapons to sell bloc American-made arms
Russia's Foreign Minister says the United States is using Ukraine to drain NATO and Europe's domestic weapons and replace them with US-made military products.
The United States is draining Europe of its domestic stockpiles of weapons and funneling them to Ukraine in order to sell the bloc US-produced military equipment and hardware, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
Washington is doing so by pouring vast funds into Kiev so it can procure Europe's weapons, he added.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, the US has provided Ukraine with over $40 billion in military packages.
As per data released by the US State Department in January, the US military-industrial complex recorded huge profits in 2022 following the start of the war in Ukraine, due to an exponential increase in foreign weapons sales.
Figures revealed that arms sales skyrocketed from $35.8 billion in 2021 to $51.9 billion in 2022, and an even larger profit was seen due to direct weapon sales from American manufacturers, going from $103.4 billion in 2021 to $153.7 billion that same year.
"Look at the sums that are being allocated to help Ukraine, look at how former Soviet, Russian, and now Western weapons are being pumped out of Europe," Lavrov said at a roundtable discussion on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis with representatives of over 30 countries.
"The market is being freed to supply US military products for the rearmament of EU and NATO countries via the large-scale funding and purchase of US weapons produced by American corporations."
In recent months, NATO nations and their partners have conducted several meetings under the leadership of the United States in the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at Germany's Ramstein air base. These meetings have focused on providing weaponry and military gear to Ukraine, with the next session scheduled for September 18.
Kiev's Western allies began sending massive amounts of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine after the war began last year, while the Kremlin has consistently warned that this might lead to a direct clash between Russia and NATO - who is now seen by Moscow as a partner in the war.