Kremlin says U.S. Abrams tanks, ATACMS missiles for Ukraine can't change battlefield situation

  • World
  • Tuesday, 26 Sep 2023

General view of the delivery of the first company of U.S.-made Abrams M1A1 tanks to arrive in the country under a deal finalised in 2022, at the port in Szczecin, Poland, June 28, 2023. Cezary Aszkielowicz/ Agencja via REUTERS/ File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Tuesday that U.S. supplies of long-range ATACMS missiles and Abrams tanks to Ukraine would not change the situation on the battlefield.

Asked about the issue at a regular news briefing, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian armed forces were constantly adapting to the use of new types of weapons in what Moscow calls its special military operation (SVO) in Ukraine.

"All this can in no way affect the essence of the SVO and its outcome. There is no panacea and no one type of weapon that can change the balance of power on the battlefield," he said.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday that U.S.-made Abrams tanks had arrived in his country. The jet-powered tanks were a top demand of Kyiv until Washington finally offered more than 30 of them in January.

"Abrams tanks are serious weapons, but remember what the president said about other tanks made in another country," Peskov said, referring to other Western tanks supplied to Kyiv, which include German-made Leopards and British Challengers.

"Well, these (Abrams) too will burn," he said.

Kyiv has also repeatedly asked the Biden administration for Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to help attack and disrupt supply lines, air bases and rail networks in Russian-occupied territory.

Last Friday, NBC News, citing U.S. officials, reported that President Joe Biden had informed Zelenskiy that Washington would also provide Kyiv with ATACMS long-range missiles.

The White House and Pentagon declined to comment on the NBC report. The Pentagon also declined to say whether any promises of ATACMS were given to Zelenskiy during his meetings last Thursday at the Pentagon.

"The Americans continue to increase their... direct involvement in this conflict, but of course, every time our military improves its skills and technical capabilities to counter these missiles," Peskov said.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Gareth Jones)

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