Putin "100%" Sure Russia Can "Weed Out" US-Made Patriot Missiles
Putin said, "It is said that the Patriot systems may be sent to Ukraine. Let them do it; we will weed out the Patriots too."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is "100%" sure Moscow will destroy the Patriot air defence systems if the United States gives them to Ukraine, Russian news agency TASS reported citing Rossiya-1 television. He said that Ukraine does not have these systems so far.
"Of course, we'll take them out, 100 per cent!," TASS quoted Putin as saying in an interview.
Earlier on Thursday, Putin had said that "the patriot is a fairly outdated system." He further said that it is "antidote" to these systems will be found. According to the Kremlin website, Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 22 said that Russia will "weed out" the patriots.
According to the Kremlin website, Putin said, "It is said that the Patriot systems may be sent to Ukraine. Let them do it; we will weed out the Patriots too. And they will have to send something to replace them with or create new systems. It is a long and complicated process. It is not all that simple."
"We take this into account and count everything that is being sent there, how many systems there are in the depots, how many more they can manufacture and how fast, and if they can train the necessary personnel," he added.
His remarks come after the US Department of Defence announced $1.85 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine. The military assistance includes authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to $1 billion and $850 million in assistance via the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).
US Defence Department's announcement came as part of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to the United States.
The military assistance announced by the US includes one Patriot air defence battery and munitions, additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 500 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds, 10 120mm mortar systems and 10,000 120mm mortar rounds, 10 82mm mortar systems, 10 60mm mortar systems, 37 Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, 120 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs).
In addition, the US military assistance includes six armoured utility trucks, high-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs), precision aerial munitions, over 2,700 grenade launchers and small arms, Claymore anti-personnel munitions, demolition munitions and equipment, night vision devices and optics, tactical secure communications systems, body armours and other field equipment.