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Russia rejects US decision to send Patriot missiles to Ukraine | Russo-Ukrainian War


Moscow has said that Ukraine buys Patriot missiles from the United States, announced during the Presidential meeting. Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Washingtonwill not help resolve the conflict or prevent Russia from achieving its goals.

Although the Patriot air defense system is considered by many to be advanced, President Vladimir Putin dismissed it as “very old”, and told reporters on Thursday that Russia would find a way to counter it. it. At the same time, he said Russia wants to end the war in Ukraine and this will certainly involve a diplomatic solution.

“Our goal is not to turn the flywheel of military conflict, but on the contrary, to end this war,” Putin told reporters. “We will try to put an end to this, and of course as soon as possible.”

These comments quickly drew US skepticism. White House spokesman John Kirby said Mr Putin had “no indication he is ready to negotiate” to end the war that began with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

“Quite the opposite,” Kirby told reporters during an online news conference. “Everything he [Putin] doing on the ground and in the air indicates a man who wants to continue violent access to the people of Ukraine [and] escalate the war.”

‘Legal targets’

Russia has repeatedly said it is ready to negotiate, but Ukraine and its allies suspect this is a plot to buy time after a series of Russian battlefield defeats and retreats that have upset the momentum of the protracted war. 10 months in the favor of Kiev.

Zelenskyy returned to Ukraine in a high mood thanks to the support of President Joe Biden during his trip to Washington on Wednesday, his first known foreign trip since Russia invaded the neighboring country.

“We are returning from Washington with good results. With something really useful,” he said on the messaging app Telegram.

Al Jazeera’s Salam Khoder, reporting from Moscow, says Russia has said “clearly” that all aid the US sends to Ukraine – “Patriot systems or other systems” – will be a legitimate target. France.

“In addition, personnel who could be deployed with such systems to train or operate such systems would also be a target for the Russian military,” Khoder said.

Khoder quoted Valery Gerasimov, chief of staff of the Russian army, as warning that the US “is actively participating in this conflict by sending and supplying more weapons to Ukraine”.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that there was no sign of readiness for peace talks during Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington, demonstrating that the US is waging a proxy war with Russia “to the last Ukrainian”.

“This is not conducive to a quick solution, quite the opposite,” Peskov said of the Patriot system announcement. “And this cannot prevent the Russian Federation from achieving its goals in a special military operation,” to use the Russian term for a war in which tens of thousands of people were killed.

Zelenskyy told Congress on Wednesday that US aid to his country is an investment in democracy as he call the battles against the Nazis in World War II to promote more support against the Russian invasion.

Congress moved closer on Thursday to approving an additional $44.9 billion in emergency military and economic assistance, part of a broader US government spending bill. That figure would be higher than the roughly $50 billion already sent to Ukraine this year.

The Biden administration announced another $1.85 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including a Patriot system, on Wednesday as Zelenskyy began his visit.

Journalist and author Owen Matthews said Ukraine’s president’s main task is to ensure that Russia’s ongoing invasion is kept “at the top and center of the US agenda”.

“Putin is convinced that the US and the West are no longer interested in Ukraine due to fatigue and growing political opposition. The best strategy the Russians can pursue is to hope that Ukraine’s Western allies will eventually give up,” Matthews, who focuses on Russian affairs, told Al Jazeera.

“It was important for Zelenskyy to keep that support and he won,” he added.

Battle of Bakhmut

Meanwhile, Gerasimov said the frontline in Ukraine was stable and Moscow’s forces were focused on gaining control of the eastern region of Donetsk, where the war-torn city of Bakhmut has become the focal point of fighting. .

He said the Russian military was “focused on completing the liberation” of Donetsk, one of four regions that Moscow claims to have annexed – although never fully in control of the region.

Gerasimov also said Russia had used hypersonic missiles for the first time in Ukraine, including the Kinzhal missile – part of an arsenal that Putin described as “invincible”.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited military units fighting in Ukraine, state news agency RIA reported on Thursday, citing the ministry. It doesn’t say where.

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