Washington will deliver one battery of Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine, The Associated Press reports, citing three senior officials.
According to them, the United States is ready to approve the shipment as early as Thursday, December 15. Two officials said that the Patriot systems will arrive from the Pentagon warehouse and will be moved from another country abroad, the AP said.
On Tuesday, December 13, CNN also said that the US may soon announce the shipment of the Patriot system to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Biden administration is currently finalising the plan to send air defense systems to Kyiv, sources said.
The plan must first be approved by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and President Joe Biden. The Ukrainian military will have to undergo training for the use of the US air defense systems at an army base in Germany.
At the same time, a Pentagon representative responded to reports about the supplies of this weapon to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and stressed that he had "nothing to report” about the shipment of Patriot complexes to Kyiv.
In late November, the American side denied plans to transfer Patriot systems to the Ukrainian army.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the North Atlantic Alliance was discussing an opportunity to supply these systems to Ukraine. According to Stoltenberg, the only way to achieve peace in Ukraine is to continue arms supplies to Kyiv.
Noteworthy, Germany earlier refused to ship Patriot systems to Kyiv. Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said that the deployment of Patriot systems in the west of Ukraine would protect both the Poles and the Ukrainians. He also said that Poland was ready to deploy air defence systems on its territory.
Moscow has repeatedly warned Western countries about the danger of arms supplies to Kyiv. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov clarified that the United States had no intention to stop supplying arms to Ukraine. In his opinion, Washington intends to continue to blame Moscow for everything disregarding the crimes that Kyiv committed on the territories that have already become part of Russia.
"I repeat once again, this will make the conflict longer and more painful for the Ukrainian side, but it will not change our goal setting and the final result," Dmitry Peskov said.
The possible supplies of American Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine will put the world on the brink of World War Three, Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy head of the International Committee of the Federation Council, told RIA Novosti.
"The United States is provoking us into a direct conflict with NATO. Especially if they supply Patriot air defence systems. You understand what a threat it is," Dzhabarov said.
Washington is putting the world on the brink of the Third World War, but if the Americans think they can intimidate Russia, then they think it wrong, the senator concluded.
The supplies of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to the Kyiv regime will become a fundamental step that the United States will take to escalate the conflict. The Russian military command should prepare the plan of action in response, Igor Korotchenko, the Director of the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade told RIA Novosti on Wednesday, December 14.
"This will be a fundamental step towards escalation on the part of Washington. The purpose of this step is to prolong the existence of Zelensky's regime and significantly complicate Russian air strikes against key objects of Ukraine's military and energy system," he said.
Patriot is one of the key elements of the integrated air and missile defence of the US Army. The range of Patriot complexes varies from 30 to 160 kilometers. There are versions that are specifically designed to intercept ballistic missiles. If Patriot is integrated with other Western-made air defense systems that Kyiv already has at its disposal, such as NASAMS and IRIS-T, local centers of Ukrainian air defence systems will be combined into joint information space with enhanced capabilities for timely identification and distribution of air targets between various complexes. This will reduce the effectiveness of massive Russian missile strikes.
Incidents of confrontation between Ukrainian and Polish units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have become more frequent during the recent weeks