MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. Russia will easily knock out the US air defense systems Patriot that will be supplied to the Kiev regime, President Vladimir Putin told the media on Thursday.
"They say that they can supply those Patriots there [to Ukraine] right away. Fine, may they go ahead. We will knock out those Patriots. Then something else will have to be provided instead of the Patriots. New systems will have to be developed. This is a lengthy process. And a no simple one," he said.
Putin stressed that the resources of NATO countries were not close to exhaustion. "The problem is different. Ukraine receives weapons from the former Warsaw Treaty countries, mostly Soviet-made. These weapons are almost over. We have wiped out almost everything there. There are several dozen armored vehicles. Ok, hundreds. We have wiped out a large amount. This is true. This source of equipment is close to exhaustion."
NATO standards as benchmarks
Putin believes that the possibility of Kiev switching to NATO weapons looks doubtful.
"It is not so easy to switch to new weapons systems, including NATO-style ones. Preparations are to be made and personnel trained. There must be enough spare parts in stock. The equipment is to undergo maintenance and repairs. This is a big question. It will not be easy."
In addition, there are questions concerning the capabilities of the defense-industrial complex of the Western countries. "True, it is big in the United States. It can be boosted. But it’s not so easy there either, because you need to allocate additional money for this, and this is a matter of determining resources as part of the budget process. It’s not all that simple," Putin stressed.
Putin said that Moscow was thoroughly counting everything that was being supplied to Ukraine, how much weapons were in stock and what Ukraine could produce on its own and when.
"As for our capabilities, our reserves, and so on, we spend them, too. This is understandable. I will not mention any statistics showing how many shells we use per day. These are big figures," he remarked. "But the difference between us and those who oppose us is the Ukrainian military-industrial complex - if it has not been completely reset to zero yet - is rapidly moving towards this condition. Very soon there will be no base left. While ours keeps growing."
At the same time, Putin emphasized that the military-industrial complex in Russia would not be developing to the detriment of other sectors of the economy.
"In contrast to Ukraine's industry ours has been developing over the past decades, including the defense industry. We have been developing our military science and engineering," he stated.
"We still lack certain things. We see what we need - loitering ammunition, drones, and so on. But we have the groundwork. We know who can make them, in what amounts and when. We have our own financial resources to ensure the work of research and development centers and production itself. Yes, there are issues with increasing the pace and production volumes. We are able to do this. And we will definitely cope with this task," Putin concluded.