The U.S. State Department said Russia is single-handedly responsible for provocations in Ukraine after the Russian Embassy said of “unpredictable consequences” if the U.S. sends Patriot missiles to Ukraine.
“The only provocative measures that have been taken over the course of this entire conflict are being made by Russia,” State Department Deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel told CNN, adding that the U.S. “is not now nor has it ever been at war with Russia.”
Patel neither confirmed nor denied the Patriot systems shipment to Ukraine. White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Dec. 16 that Ukraine would receive more air defense in the next U.S. military aid package.
Ukraine has repeatedly asked the U.S. to provide Patriot systems amid devastating Russian missile strikes on the country’s energy infrastructure.
On Dec. 16, Russia launched the seventh missile strike against Ukraine, firing 76 cruise missiles at the nation's energy infrastructure. Ukraine’s air defense downed 60 of them. Explosions were reported in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, except for Russian-occupied Crimea and Luhansk Oblast.