The possible deployment of American THAAD anti-missile systems near Kharkov would be another step towards destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“This would be another step towards destabilizing the situation,” TASS quoted Peskov as saying.
Earlier on Monday, the agency reported, citing a source, that Ukraine had asked the United States to deploy several divisions of American THAAD anti-missile systems in the vicinity of Kharkiv, which is located 26 km from the border with Russia. According to the TASS interlocutor, the deployment of complexes, which include the AN / TPY-2 radar station, would allow Kiev and its NATO partners to monitor the aerospace situation at a distance of up to 1000 km deep into Russia.
In late January, the United States handed over to Ukraine a $200 million military aid package approved by President Joe Biden, which included 300 Javelin missile systems. In total, since January 22, the United States has sent more than 650 tons of defense equipment to Ukraine, the total amount of American aid received by Kiev since 2014 amounted to $2.7 billion.
Against the backdrop of growing geopolitical tensions in the region, NATO also began to increase the number of military and equipment in the countries of Eastern Europe that are members of the alliance. On Monday, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht promised that Berlin would increase its participation in the NATO mission in Lithuania and increase its contingent by 350 soldiers. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the country will send 350 more soldiers and officers to Poland’s eastern border, in addition to the 100 British troops already there.
According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the military bloc is considering the possibility of strengthening its presence in Eastern Europe on a long-term basis, but a final decision on this issue has not yet been made. At the end of November, the alliance announced that it would transfer ships and aircraft to Eastern Europe. Later, Stoltenberg allowed the appearance of additional battle groups in the southeastern part of NATO.