Russia on Wednesday warned South Korea against sending weapons to Ukraine after Seoul opened the door to possible military aid to Kyiv in the event of a large-scale civilian attack.
An ally of Washington, Seoul has provided non-lethal and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, but has so far ruled out military aid.
But South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol told Reuters on Wednesday that “if there is a situation the international community cannot condone, such as any large-scale attack on civilians… it might be difficult for us to insist only on humanitarian or financial support”.
The Kremlin said the start of arms supplies would mean indirect involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
“Unfortunately Seoul has taken a rather unfriendly stance,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“The start of arms supplies will indirectly mean a certain stage of involvement in this conflict,” he added.
The remarks also drew a warning from Russia’s ex-leader Dmitry Medvedev, who served as president between 2008 and 2012.
Medvedev said that Moscow could reciprocate and send weapons to North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“I wonder what the residents of this country will say when they see the latest Russian arms with their closest neighbours — our partners from the DPRK,” he added. “Quid pro quo…”