Russia condemns Ecuador over decision to hand Russian military hardware to US for Ukraine – RIA

FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, April 4, 2023. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo © Thomson Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s foreign ministry on Friday condemned a decision by Ecuador to hand over Russian-made military hardware to the United States for use in Ukraine as a “reckless” breach of contract, the RIA news agency reported.

The Ecuadorean government said last month it would take up an offer from Washington to swap what it called “Ukrainian and Russian scrap metal” for advanced U.S. equipment worth $200 million.

The United States has said the arms it gets from Ecuador will be sent to Ukraine to help bolster its forces on the battlefield against Russia.

Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry’s spokeswoman, told RIA that Ecuador’s decision was made under pressure from external forces.

“Such a reckless decision was taken by the Ecuadorian side under serious pressure from outside interested parties,” she said.

“Our partners are well aware of the provisions of the contracts, which include an obligation to use the supplied equipment for the stated purposes and not to transfer it to a third party without obtaining the relevant agreement of the Russian side.”

Authorities in Ecuador have said that Moscow had advised against the hardware swap, but that they believed they had the right to do it anyway.

Source: Reuters/Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Andrew Osborn