MOSCOW: A senior Russian official accused the West on Wednesday of ramping up political pressure on Moscow by supplying weapons and ammunition to support Ukraine during a standoff over a Russian military buildup.

Moscow has massed troops near Ukraine, and is set to stage military drills in close ally Belarus to Ukraine’s north, stirring fears that it could invade. Russia denies any plan to attack Ukraine.

Countries such as the United States and Britain have supplied military aid to Ukraine that has included anti-tank missiles and launchers to help it defend itself. Others, such as Germany, have sent helmets, shunning lethal aid.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the military supplies to Ukraine amounted to Western “blackmail and pressure”.

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