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US missile supplies to Ukraine are “mistake” – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Wednesday that the United States was fuelling the military conflict in Ukraine by providing Kyiv with long-range ATACMS missiles.

At a news conference in China, he claimed to have informed China’s President Xi Jinping “in some detail” about Ukraine, noting that “external factors” and “common threats” only strengthen Russia-China ties.

Putin stated that the White House’s decision to deliver the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) only “prolongs the agony” for Ukraine.

“Firstly, this of course causes harm and creates an additional threat. Secondly, we will of course be able to repel these attacks. War is war. But most importantly, it fundamentally lacks the capacity to change the situation on the line of contact at all … This is another mistake by the United States.”

Ukraine has repeatedly asked Washington to provide ATACMS to help it to strike and disrupt supply lines, airbases and railway networks in the Russian-held territory.

A mistake of a larger scale, as yet invisible but still of great importance, is that the United States is becoming more and more personally drawn into this conflict. And let no one say that they have nothing to do with this. We believe they do.

Putin also mentioned that the US had deployed two aircraft carrier groups to the Mediterranean Sea to secure the situation in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas. The Kremlin chief ordered Russian aircraft with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles to patrol over the Black Sea.

Moscow claims to be ready for talks, but insists that the Kyiv’s order prohibits any negotiations with Russia until Ukrainian territories are returned to their pre-March 2014 status. Kyiv insists on the complete withdrawal of Russian troops, including from the Crimean Peninsula.


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