MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. The US conveyed via diplomatic channels that it does not want and will not fight with Russia directly and will not send it military specialists to Ukraine in connection with the shipment of Patriot missile air defense systems, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview Wednesday.
"We asked the Americans via the channels that out embassy still has whether the decision to send Patriot systems [to Ukraine] means that American specialists will be there as well, considering the complexity of operation of these systems. We were told at length that this is not being planned specifically because the Americans do not want and will not fight against Russia directly; the Patriot systems will be deployed within several months, as Ukrainian servicemen familiarize themselves with this technology," Lavrov said.
Previously, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will be able to destroy the Patriot systems, should Washington supply them to Kiev. He also noted that "the Patriot is a rather old system" and it does not perform like the Russian-made S-300. He also said that Russia will find an "antidote" to these systems.
On December 21, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky visited Washington on invitation from US President Joe Biden. During the visit, the US announced a new package of military aid to Kiev worth $1.85 billion. It included a battery of Patriot air defense systems, which includes launchers, radar and a control station.