The US will not "allow comments from Russia to dictate the security assistance" the Biden administration provides to Ukraine, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a briefing with reporters on Thursday, APA reports.
In a statement Wednesday, the Russian Embassy in Washington said a possible shipment of Patriot missile systems to Ukraine would "lead to unpredictable consequences" and threaten global security. CNN was first to report on Tuesday the Biden administration is finalizing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine.
“I find it ironic and very telling that officials from a country that brutally attacked its neighbor in an illegal and unprovoked invasion through a campaign that is deliberately targeting and killing innocent civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure, that they would choose to use words like provocative to describe defensive systems that are meant to save lives and protect civilians,” Ryder said at the briefing at the Pentagon.
Ryder reiterated Russia could de-escalate the ongoing conflict any moment if they wanted to, but they have chosen to “double down.”
“It’s important to remember that Russia is the aggressor here. And when it comes to escalation, they could de-escalate the situation today by withdrawing their forces and saving countless innocent lives, but clearly they’ve chosen to double down,” he added.