Russian embassy warns of ‘unpredictable consequences’ if US fires Patriot missiles at Ukraine

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said U.S. Patriot missiles would be a legitimate target for Russian forces if they were sent to Ukraine.

But he added that the U.S. plan had not yet been confirmed.

CNN asked Peskov if he shared the same views as former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who had said the missile “would immediately become a legitimate target of our armed forces.”

“Of course,” Peskov responded, with comments later reprinted by Russia’s official news agency TASS. But he added, “However, I will not be commenting for now because these are just media reports.”

CNN exclusively reported on Tuesday that the Biden administration is finalizing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine and could announce one as soon as this week, according to two U.S. officials and a senior administration official. Decide.

The Pentagon’s plan still needs to be approved by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin before it goes to President Joe Biden for his signature. Approval is expected, three officials told CNN.

It is unclear how many missile launchers will be sent, But a typical Patriot battery includes a radar unit to detect and track targets, computers, power generation equipment, an engagement control station and up to eight launchers, each holding four missiles ready to fire.

Once plans are finalized, the Patriots are expected to be shipped quickly in the next few days, and Ukrainians will be trained to use them at the U.S. Army base in Grafenwohr, Germany, officials told CNN.

Russian officials have repeatedly said that all Western systems sent to Ukraine — including the HIMARS air defense system — would be targeted.

Ukrainian authorities have been looking for Patriot batteries for months, but have not confirmed that the United States has agreed to send them. On Wednesday, President Zelensky said only that a meeting of the military’s general staff talked about “protecting the skies.”

“We are constantly strengthening our air and anti-drone defenses. We are doing everything we can to create more modern and robust systems for Ukraine,” he said.

CNN’s Barbara Starr contributed reporting to this article.

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