(Dan Tri) – British Defense Minister Grant Shapps stated that the West does not want direct military confrontation with Russia in the conflict in Ukraine.

British Defense Minister Grant Shapps (Photo: AFP).

In an interview with the BBC on May 19, British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps explained that the West did not shoot down Russian missiles flying to Ukraine because `we do not want a direct conflict with Russia.`

`We have no intention of participating in that war,` Mr. Shapps affirmed.

The British Defense Minister also said that Germany has for many months refused Ukraine’s request for long-range Taurus missiles because of concerns that Kiev would use these weapons to attack Russian targets in the Crimean peninsula.

Speaking at a press conference on May 17, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby announced an additional aid package worth $2 billion for Kiev.

However, he emphasized that the equipment and expenditure should only be used to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities instead of attacking targets on Russian territory.

`We neither encourage nor allow attacks using US-supplied weapon systems inside Russia. That is an unchanged policy,` Mr. Kirby said in response to a reporter’s question.

The statements of British and American officials came after Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on May 17 warned that the West was `playing with fire`.

`Once again, we want to clearly warn Washington, London, Brussels and other Western countries, as well as Kiev, which is under their control, that they are playing with fire. Russia will not let

Russia has repeatedly criticized the West for transferring weapons to Ukraine, and warned that NATO members have become direct participants in the conflict in Ukraine.

The situation escalated recently when Britain announced the lifting of restrictions on weapons it supplied to Ukraine.

During a visit to Washington on May 14, David Arakhamia, leader of the ruling Serve the People party in the Ukrainian parliament, said `the main problem today is White House policy that is limiting Kiev’s ability to attack.

Ukrainian lawmakers have planned to persuade the US Congress to change policy and lift the ban on using weapons provided by Washington to attack Russian territory.

Referring to the controversial issue of attacks on Russian territory, the US Secretary of State said: `We do not encourage or authorize attacks outside of Ukraine, but ultimately Ukraine will have to make its own decisions.`