Note: This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.
MOSCOW, Russia – Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, September 15, that if the United States decided to supply Kyiv with longer-range missiles, it would cross a “red line” and become “a party to the conflict”.
In a briefing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova added that Russia “reserves the right to defend its territory”.
Washington has openly supplied Ukraine with advanced GMLRS rockets, fired from HIMARS launchers, that can hit targets up to 80 km (50 miles) away.
“If Washington decides to supply longer-range missiles to Kyiv, then it will be crossing a red line, and will become a direct party to the conflict,” Zakharova said.
US officials say Ukraine has promised not to use US rockets to strike Russia itself.
HIMARS launchers can also be used to fire longer-range ATACMS tactical missiles, which can have a range of up to 300 km. A senior Ukrainian official declined to say on August 19 whether Kyiv now had ATACMS.
There has been no full public explanation of an attack on August 9 that hit a Russian air base at Saky, around 200 km from the nearest Ukrainian-controlled territory, on the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow captured in 2014 and considers Russian territory.
Ukraine has requested and received large quantities of weapons from the United States and other Western allies to help it resist the Russian armed forces that were sent into Ukraine in February. – Rappler.com