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Kremlin warns on longer-range US rockets for Ukraine

An expected US package including longer-range rockets for Ukraine will “increase the level of escalation” in the conflict, the Kremlin says.

February 2, 2023
2 February 2023

The Kremlin says longer-range rockets reportedly included in an upcoming package of military aid from the United States to Ukraine will escalate the conflict but not change its course.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also told reporters there were no plans for Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold talks with US President Joe Biden.

The US package of military aid, worth $US2.2 billion ($A3.1 billion), is expected to include longer-range rockets for the first time, two US officials briefed on the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Such rockets would allow Ukraine – which has said it plans to retake all of its territory by force, including annexed Crimea – to strike deeper into Russian-held territory.

Asked about the new aid package, the Kremlin’s Peskov said: “Yes, this is a direct way to escalate tensions, to increase the level of escalation, we can see that. It requires us to make additional efforts, but – once again – it will not change the course of events. The special military operation will continue.”

Putin sent tens of thousands of Russian troops into Ukraine in February last year. He has said the operation was needed to protect Russia’s own security and to stand up to what he has described as Western efforts to contain and weaken Moscow.

Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of waging an illegal war designed to expand its territory. 

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