Pentagon on Patriots: Russia will not define assistance to Ukraine
The US will not permit "words from Russia to define the level of security assistance we give to Ukraine," says Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder.
Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder claimed that the United States is not at war with Russia and does not plan to get involved in direct conflict, it just aims at providing further “security assistance” to Ukraine.
Responding to a question on the US reaction to Russia's comments regarding reports on possible US exports of Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine, he said, “the US is not at war with Russia, and we do not seek conflict. Our focus is on providing Ukraine with the security assistance it needs to defend itself."
According to the official, the US will not permit "words from Russia to define the level of security assistance we give to Ukraine."
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ryder claimed there were no fresh announcements to be made and withheld any additional information regarding the shipment of Patriot systems to Kiev.
This comes shortly after two United States officials and a senior administration official revealed that Pentagon is finalizing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine, which could be announced as soon as this week, US media outlets reported on Tuesday.
At the time, the Kremlin sent a stark warning about US Patriot missile defense systems, should the US authorize them to be delivered to Kiev.
On that note, the deployment of Patriots and any supporting NATO personnel to Ukraine has received considerable opposition from Moscow, with Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia's Security Council, saying that they would turn into "legitimate targets" for Russian forces.
For months, Kiev has been calling on Washington to send Patriot missiles, which are reportedly highly effective at intercepting ballistic and cruise missiles.
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