MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Patriot missile defense systems will be regarded as legitimate targets by the Russian Armed Forces, should Washington supply them to Kiev, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Wednesday.
"Certainly," he said, when asked whether the Kremlin shared the point of view expressed by Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, that these systems would become legitimate targets.
"I would refrain from comment for now, though, because these are just media reports. Nowadays, media reports are an unreliable thing. Let us wait for some official information," Peskov added.
Earlier, CNN, citing unnamed representatives of the US authorities, said that Washington was finalizing plans for supplying Patriot systems to Ukraine. According to the network, they may be unveiled as early as this week. Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said on December 13 that he was unable to say anything about the supply of these missile defense systems to Ukraine.
At the end of November, Medvedev said on his Telegram channel that the Patriot systems, along with their personnel, would become Russia’s legitimate military targets, should they be delivered to Ukraine.
The Patriot complexes are the main element of the US army's missile defense. The first Patriots were provided for the US army in 1984 and, apparently, they will stay operational till 2040. The systems are in service with a number of NATO countries and US allies in the Middle East. There are various configurations with ranges varying from 30 kilometers to 160 kilometers, as well as modifications specifically designed for intercepting ballistic missiles. Also, this system is capable of intercepting crewed aircraft.