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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Russia's use of Iranian drones in Ukraine is "appalling," and the United States and allies will seek to block such shipments.
Russia has used the drones to "kill Ukrainian civilians and destroy the infrastructure they rely on for electricity, for water, for heat. It's appalling," Blinken said on October 27 during a visit to Ottawa, Canada.
"Canada and the United States will keep working with our allies and partners to expose, to deter, and to counter Iran's provision of these weapons," he said.
If it becomes clear that Russia has used Iranian drones in the war against Ukraine, "we will definitely not be indifferent about this issue," Blinken added.
Kyiv and its Western allies have accused Moscow of using Iranian-made drones in attacks on Ukraine in recent weeks, saying attacks on electrical power stations are designed to deprive Ukrainians of heat for their homes in the coming winter. Moscow and Tehran have denied the accusations.
"We have not supplied Russia with any weapons or drones for use in the war against Ukraine," Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said earlier this week.
The United States, alongside Britain and the European Union, has already imposed sanctions on Iran over the issue of drones.
The United States and its allies and partners have sent modern weapons worth tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine to help it defend its territory.
As a followup to these transfers, the United States on October 27 announced a plan to prevent them from falling into the hands of criminals or the Russian military.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States remained "vigilant" to the possibility that criminals and nonstate actors may attempt to illicitly acquire weapons from sources in Ukraine.
Price said the plan aims to account for arms and munitions when they are transferred, enhance regional border management and security, and build the capacity of security forces to detect illicit arms trafficking.
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