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15 Sep, 2022 17:46

Moscow clarifies ‘red line’ for US

If Washington supplies Kiev with longer-range missiles, Russia will defend its soil with “all means available"
Moscow clarifies ‘red line’ for US

Washington becomes “complicit in war crimes” by supplying weapons to Kiev, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a media briefing on Thursday. If the US decides to supply longer-range missiles to Ukraine, “it would cross the red line and become an actual party to the conflict,” she added. 

Such a move would be equivalent to deploying ground-based medium-range missiles to Europe, Zakharova said, adding that such weapons were previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), which the US abandoned back in 2019 under then-President Donald Trump. 

“In such a scenario, we would have to come up with an adequate response,” the spokeswoman said, adding that Russia “reserves the right to defend its territory using any means available.” 

Washington has already supplied Kiev with M142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS multiple launch rocket systems, as well as regular rounds for them capable of hitting targets at a range of about 70km. Now, Kiev also seeks to get ahold of the US-made Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS. These missiles, which can also be fired by HIMARS and MLRS systems, have a significantly longer range of some 300km and could strike targets deep in Russian territory.

Washington is seeking to drag the conflict in Ukraine out for as long as possible while still controlling how it develops, Zakharova said, calling it a sign of America's “direct involvement in the fighting.” She also accused the US of seeking “global destabilization” and instigating a new “arms race.” 

Her words came just a day after the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, accused the US of “inciting Kiev” against Russia, as well as aiding Ukraine’s military efforts and “boasting” about it. The diplomat also blasted US claims about not being a party to the conflict as “ridiculous” and “unfounded.” 

In September, the Pentagon revealed a new military aid package for Kiev worth $675 million. The package includes artillery ammunition, armored vehicles, and remote-launched mines, among other items.