Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that he’s very confident Moscow will destroy the Patriot air defense systems that the United States had promised Ukraine to include in a new security assistance package.

“Of course, we’ll take them out, 100 percent!” Putin said during an interview with Rossiya-1 TV anchor Pavel Zarubin, Russia’s state-owned news agency TASS reported, noting that Ukraine does not have such systems yet.

A day after the U.S. State Department announced a new $1.85 billion aid package for Ukraine, bringing the overall financial support to about $22 billion, Putin said “the Patriot is a fairly outdated system” and an “antidote” to these systems will be found.

“It is said that the Patriot systems may be sent to Ukraine. Let them do it; we will weed out the Patriots too,” Putin said, according to the Kremlin station.

Putin also told Rossiya-1 TV that Moscow is ready to start negotiations with all parties involved in the Russia—Ukraine war that recently passed its 300th day.

“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them—we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin told the station.

However, there is little end in sight to the war as Moscow vows it will fight until all its aims are achieved while Kyiv says it will not rest until every Russian soldier is ejected from all of its territories, including Crimea which Russia annexed in 2014.

Russian missile strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure have recently increased, depriving citizens of heat and other resources during the harsh winter months.

On the 300th day of the ongoing war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President Joe Biden at the White House for the first time since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a joint press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Dec. 21, 2022. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden told Zelenskyy that he “will never stand alone,” adding that Putin is “using winter as a weapon” by “destroying systems that provide heat and light in the coldest and darkest part of the year.”

What Is the Patriot?

The Patriot, which stands for Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target, is a theater-wide surface-to-air missile defense system built by Raytheon Technologies Corp. and considered one of the most advanced air defense systems in the U.S. military’s arsenal.

The system was first used in combat during the 1991 Gulf War, with batteries protecting Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Israel, and later used during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

It is a mobile system that usually includes powerful radar, a control station, a power generator, launch stations, and other support vehicles.

Epoch Times Photo
Patriot missile defense system is seen at Sliac Airport, in Sliac, near Zvolen, Slovakia, on May 6, 2022. (Radovan Stoklasa/Reuters)

The system has different capabilities depending on the type of interceptor used.

The PAC-2 interceptor uses a blast-fragmentation warhead, while the newer PAC-3 missile uses more advanced hit-to-kill technology.

The system’s radar has a range of over 150 km (93 miles), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) said in 2015.

A newly produced single Patriot battery costs over $1 billion, with $400 million for the system and $690 million for the missiles in a battery, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From NTD News

Lorenz Duchamps

Lorenz Duchamps is a news writer for NTD, The Epoch Times’ sister media, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and entertainment news.

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