MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Washington’s potential delivery of Patriot air defense missile systems to Kiev will increase the risk of the US military’s direct involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.
"On December 13, the US announced its intention to supply Ukraine with a Patriot air defense missile battery. Earlier, many experts, including those overseas, questioned the rationality of such a step which would lead to an escalation of the conflict and increase the risk of directly dragging the US army into combat," the diplomat said.
According to the spokeswoman, "Washington continues to strong-arm other NATO countries demanding from them a more substantial contribution to the militarization of Ukraine".
"On November 30, in Bucharest, at a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers, [US] Secretary of State [Antony] Blinken noted that the volume of military aid to the Kiev regime by NATO allies and partners had surpassed $40 bln over 10 months," she stressed. "We would like to reiterate that all arms supplied to Ukraine by the West are legitimate military targets for Russia’s Armed Forces and will be either eliminated or captured as our country has repeatedly stated," the diplomat avowed.
On possible Patriot missile system supplies
Earlier, CNN, citing anonymous sources in the Biden administration, reported that Washington was finalizing plans to send Patriot systems to Ukraine. According to the TV news channel, their delivery may be announced as early as this week. Regarding that, Pentagon Spokesman Patrick Ryder reported on December 13 that he could not yet say anything in terms of supplying Ukraine with these air defense systems.
On Wednesday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that the Patriot systems would become legitimate military targets for the Russian Armed Forces should Washington deliver them to Kiev.