Russian parliament speaker warns against US lend-lease scheme

Russian parliament speaker warns against US lend-lease scheme

Generations of Ukrainians are going to pay for the weapons that will be supplied by Washington to Kiev under the program, according to Vyacheslav Volodin, Russian State Duma speaker.

The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, approved by the US House of Representatives on Thursday, makes it easier for Washington to send weapons to Ukraine because of its conflict with Russia. Those deliveries are conditioned on Kiev having to pay for the return of and reimbursement of defense articles loaned or leased. The lend-lease bill, which needs Joe Biden's signature, is separate from the White House's efforts to arm the government of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky with weapons from the Pentagon's stockpiles.

Volodin wrote on Telegram that Washington s motives are crystal clear, and that lending-leasing to Ukraine would allow to increase the profits of American defense corporations by several times. The speaker of the Parliament recalled World War II when the Soviet Union received military hardware from the US under a similar lend-lease scheme.

He said that the USSR, which lost 27 million lives fighting the Nazis, had to return debts for decades, sending its platinum, gold and timber to America as part of mutual settlements.

The payments were completed only 61 years after the Great Victory in 2006, Volodin pointed out.

He warned that lend-lease is a commodity loan, not a cheap one. Many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay for the weapons, ammo and food supplies delivered by Washington.

The parliament speaker insisted that by agreeing to the land-lease scheme, Zelensky is leading the country into a debt pit.

Russia sent troops to Ukraine in late February, after Kiev failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The French and German brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to take the two republics by force.