Russia says US missiles fired at Kiev cross red line

© Reuters FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova speaks at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 15, 2022. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it would cross a “red line” and become “part of the conflict” if the United States decided to supply Kiev with long-range cruise missiles.

“Russia reserves the right to defend its territory,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a brief statement.

Washington has apparently offered Ukraine advanced GMLRS rockets fired from HIMARS launchers that can hit targets up to 80 km (50 miles) away.

“If Washington decides to supply Kiev with long-range missiles, it will cross a red line and become a direct part of the conflict,” Zakharova said.

U.S. officials say Ukraine itself has pledged not to use U.S. rockets to strike Russia.

HIMARS launchers can also be used to fire long-range ATACMS tactical missiles up to 300 km. A senior Ukrainian official August 19 Kyiv refuses to say whether it now has ATACMS.

In the year There was no full explanation for the August 9 attack on the Russian air base in Saki, 200 km away on the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow seized in 2014 and considers a Russian territory.

Ukraine has requested and received large amounts of weapons from the United States and other Western allies to help counter Russian military forces sent to Ukraine in February.

Moscow has said it will not use Ukraine as a platform for Western aggression and has sent troops to protect Russian-speakers. Kyiv and its Western allies reject these arguments as baseless pretexts for an imperialist-style war of aggression.

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