Russian Security Council Deputy Chair Dmitry Medvedev warned Thursday that if Ukraine uses U.S.-supplied missile systems against Russia, Moscow "will have no choice but to be forced to retaliate against decision-making centers."
"It is clear that if, God forbid, these types of weapons [multiple launch rocket systems] are used against Russian territories, the Armed Forces of our country will have no choice but to act to defeat decision-making centers," Medvedev said, according to UrduPoint.
He also said that the "decision-making centers" referenced are the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the General Staff of Ukraine, Izvestia reports.
He added that the centers "are not even located in the territory of Kyiv" and the threat "will need to be taken into account."
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced a new military aid package for Ukraine, which includes the HIMARS (high mobility artillery rocket system) and MLRS (multiple launch rocket system), and said the U.S. would continue to support Ukraine and supply weapons and military equipment.
Izvestia reports that a high-ranking White House official said the United States was assured by Kyiv that Ukraine would not use the American MLRS system against targets located in Russian territory.
Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Yegor Chernev, said that Ukraine does not intend to comply with any restrictions on the use of American MLRS, Top War reports.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on the air of Solovyov Live that it was "impossible and pointless" to discuss Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy's promises not to use American HIMARS missile systems to strike Russia, according to a Gazeta.ru article.
She reportedly said that "no one is guided by verbal statements of Ukrainian and Western politicians anymore," as "they are known to be worthless," which is why Russia demanded written security guarantees late last year.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there were risks of involving third countries in the war with Ukraine if Kyiv received U.S. MLRS, according to Pravda.
Izvestia reports that Andrei Kortunov, the head of the Russian International Affairs Council, said the West and Russia disagree on the definition of Russian territory.
The United States does not recognize Crimea as part of Russia, Kortunov said, as well as the independence of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine.
Using multiple launch rocket systems on targets in the Donbass, therefore, could be permissible from the official U.S. perspective, Kortunov said.
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