Russia slammed the US plan to arm Ukraine with sophisticated missile systems and ammunition on Wednesday, warning of an increased possibility of a direct conflict with the US.
As part of a fresh US package to assist Kyiv in defending itself in the three-month war that began with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, US President Joe Biden promised to give Ukraine modern missile systems that can execute pinpoint attacks on long-range targets.
“We feel that the US is purposefully adding fuel to the flames. The US has made it obvious that it would battle Russia until the last Ukrainian soldier dies “Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, said.
Later, in answer to a query about whether this step increases the potential of dragging a “third nation” into the conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded, “Such risks exist.”
“It’s a clear provocation (from Ukraine) to involve the West in a military operation,” he said at a press conference in Saudi Arabia.
Senior US sources claimed the US agreed to equip Ukraine with missiles capable of reaching targets up to 80 kilometers distant in exchange for “assurances” that the missiles would not be used against targets within Russia.
Moscow, according to Peskov, does not believe in such pledges. He said it examines the risks that shooting missiles on Russian soil may pose and takes adequate precautions, but that it sees Washington’s decision “extremely adversely.”
“Let’s not speak about the worst-case scenario,” Peskov said when asked how Russia would react if Ukraine employed such US missiles to hit Russian territory.
Such supplies, he argued, would not entice Ukraine’s government to continue the halted peace negotiations.
Ukrainian leaders are requesting long-range missile systems from friends, with the ability to unleash a salvo of missiles hundreds of kilometers distant, in the hopes of turning the war’s course.