MOSCOW, December 15./TASS/. Moscow urges Washington to pay heed to its warnings that the possible deliveries of Patriot air defense systems to Kiev would become legitimate targets for the Russian army, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.
"We strongly advise those who make decisions in Washington to listen at last, if not to us, then at least to themselves, to draw the right conclusions from our repeated warnings that any weapons systems supplied to Ukraine, including Patriot systems, respectively, with the operating personnel, have been and remain legitimate priority targets for the Russian Armed Forces," the diplomat said.
"Given the growing amounts of direct US military aid, including the presence of US servicemen on the ground, the transfer of such sophisticated weaponry, the handling of which requires months of training, would mean an expansion of the involvement of regular US military personnel in combat operations with all the ensuing consequences," Zakharova emphasized.
CNN reported earlier, citing unidentified representatives from the US authorities, that Washington was finalizing plans to send Ukraine Patriot missile defense systems. According to the media outlet, this may be announced as early as this week. Pentagon Spokesman Patrick Ryder declined to confirm the CNN report on December 13.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that Patriot systems would be regarded as legitimate targets by the Russian Armed Forces, should Washington supply them to Kiev.