The US reassures Russia about Patriot missiles for Ukraine. 

The United States (US) has informed Russia that it will not send American troops to operate the Patriot air defense system in Ukraine.

us patriot missile for ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister (Minister of Foreign Affairs) Sergey Lavrov said this to Channel One Russia on Wednesday (December 28, 2022).

According to Lavrov, Russian diplomats received these assurances from Washington through "embassy channels." "We have asked the Americans through the channels that our embassy still has whether their decision to hand over the Patriot batteries (to Ukraine) means that American specialists will come along because they are complicated to use," Lavrov said.

"It is precisely because America does not want and will not go to war directly against Russia that the Patriot (system) will only be operational in a few months, as soon as the Ukrainian army masters this technology," Lavrov said.

Russian diplomats then received an "extensive briefing," during which US officials assured them they had no such plans, according to Lavrov.

Nevertheless, Moscow has no illusions about the extent of US involvement in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Lavrov said, adding that "tens or even hundreds of American servicemen" are currently on Ukrainian soil.

Lavrov added that US military specialists were providing "direct consulting services" to Ukraine.

"A group of US specialists is also monitoring the use of American weapons in Ukraine," the minister said.

Russia has previously criticized Washington's decision to send Patriots to Ukraine, calling such a move "provocative."

The Kremlin also warned that any weapons systems handed over to Kiev, including the Patriot, would become "legitimate priority targets" for Russian troops.

Last week, Politico reported, citing several US officials, that the air defense systems would not be delivered to Ukraine until Ukrainian carriers were ready.

According to the outlet, the US may also start training Ukrainians on its soil. The state-of-the-art MIM-104 Patriot long-range anti-missile system requires dozens of qualified personnel to operate, whereas training courses typically take months to complete.

The White House previously said the US would train Ukrainian soldiers to operate the Patriots in a "third country."

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