Longer-Range Missiles For Ukraine Would Make US “A Party To The Conflict”: Kremlin

Longer-Range Missiles For Ukraine Would Make US “A Party To The Conflict”: Kremlin

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has responded to widespread reports this week indicating that the United States is mulling the transfer of longer range missile systems to Ukraine’s military. For example, a Monday Wall Street Journal report detailed that Kiev is now requesting the Army’s Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, a surface-to-surface missile system with the capability of reaching about 190 miles. This would be far and beyond the range of missiles transferred to Ukraine thus far in the conflict. 

There is also the option of removing current limits the US has been placing on the type of missiles shipped for the HIMARS systems already provided to Ukraine. In a Thursday press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that if longer range munitions are supplied, the US would become “a party to the conflict” in crossing this “red line”

Image source: US Department of Defense

Zakharova further stressed that Russia “reserves the right to defend its territory” – a warning which comes after last month Ukraine began increasing strikes in Crimea, and even reportedly in Russia’s south near the border.

She aimed her remarks directly at the US government, according to the full translated comments:

“Should Washington decide to supply longer-range missiles to Kiev, by doing so it will cross a red line and become a direct party to the conflict. Under such a scenario, we will be forced to respond appropriately,” she said.

Zakharova warned that Russia reserved the right to defend its territory “by all available means.”

One concern is obviously that greatly increasing the range of Ukraine’s capabilities beyond the current 50 miles in reach for the HIMARS would immediately endanger Russian territory. Previously the Biden administration has held off on fears the US would get dragged into direct conflict with Russian forces.

“Possible supplies of missiles to the Kiev regime are identical to a situation in which European countries might host US-made ground-launched missiles, previously banned under the treaty on intermediate and shorter-range missiles, capable of hitting targets on Russian territory,” Zakharova emphasized.

According to Igor Strelkov, the AFU launched a missile strike on the outskirts of Taganrog, Rostov Oblast, Russia. pic.twitter.com/QJm3qgtAD1

— 301 Military (@301military) September 12, 2022

Ukrainian defense officials have been lobbying Washington to not only increase the reach and deadliness of the arms provided, but to plan in the “medium and long term” on how to help maintain control of the territory regained since the ‘successful’ counteroffensive in the northeast began.

Earlier, on Tuesday the White House previewed that yet another fresh arms package for Ukraine is likely to be announced in the coming days. This as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has pledged that NATO allies are ready to support the war against Russia for the “long haul”.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 09/15/2022 – 15:45

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