Belgium starts investigation into alleged use of their weapons in Belgorod
The Belgian government has appealed to Ukraine to clarify reports that Belgian-made rifles were used by pro-Ukrainian forces to fight against Russian troops on the western border of the Russian Federation. Ukrainian intelligence responded that questions about the use of foreign-made weapons on the territory of the Russian Federation should be asked of Russian volunteers.
Rubryka reports, citing the statement of the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, quoted by Reuters, and the comment of Andrii Yusov, the spokesperson of the Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense, to Suspilne.
On Saturday, The Washington Post, citing intelligence, reported that the fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Legion of Freedom of Russia, which fought on the side of Ukraine and invaded the Belgorod region at the end of May, used at least four tactical vehicles previously given to Ukraine by the West states.
"Our Ministry of Defense and its intelligence agencies have launched an investigation and are asking for information to determine exactly what happened," de Croo said on the Belgian radio station Radio 1.
"European weapons are supplied to Ukraine on the condition that they will be used on Ukrainian territory to defend that territory. And we have strict controls to ensure this is the case," he said.
De Croo declined to comment on the possible consequences if the reports are confirmed. "We should not rush ahead. But we are analyzing the situation and will take it very seriously," said the prime minister.
Ukrainian intelligence said that questions about the use of foreign-made weapons on the territory of the Russian Federation should be addressed to the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) and the Freedom of Russia Legion.
"As far as we know, they have already commented on this matter. In particular, regarding trophies/re-trophied weapons, equipment, or weapons. As for other issues, I think the Ministry of Defense will comment appropriately," Yusov said.
He added that representatives of the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom of Russia Legion operate autonomously on the territory of the Russian Federation.
On Sunday, with reference to sources, it was reported that the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Ludivine Dedonder and Hadja Lahbib, will contact the Ukrainian authorities as soon as possible to get an explanation of the situation.