The decision of the US authorities to supply Ukraine with HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems will not fundamentally change the balance of forces, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"There is nothing new. First, about these multiple launch rocket systems. The Ukrainian army has similar systems of Soviet and Russian production Grad, Smerch, Uragan," said Putin.
Putin added that "the range does not depend on the system itself, but on the missiles that are used."
"What we hear today and what we understand, these missiles have a range of 45-70 km, depending on the type of missile. Well, it is the same with Grads, Uragans, Smerches, which I mentioned. They also have a range of 40-70 km. There is nothing new, " Putin explained.
According to Putin, Western weapons deliveries to Ukraine are meant to "replenish the losses of military equipment. There is nothing new here, and this does not change anything in essence."
Putin also touched on artillery. According to him, initially, the Ukrainian Armed Forces had 515 units of artillery weapons, of which 380 were allegedly destroyed.
"But part of them have been restored, taken from reserves, as we understand, and about 360 are available," he added.
Putin said that supplies of Western weapons to Ukraine only prolong the "conflict".
"In general, all this fuss over additional arms supplies, in my opinion, has only one goal - to prolong the armed conflict as far as possible," he said.
Putin added that Russia will draw the appropriate conclusions if the West supplies Ukraine with long-range missiles.
"But, if they are supplied, we will draw appropriate conclusions from this and use our means of destruction, which we have enough to strike at those targets that we didn’t strike before," the Russian president concluded.
This week US President Joe Biden announced the delivery of modern HIMARS MLRS missile systems to Ukraine. Kyiv will also receive other weapons and ammunition.
It was reported earlier that the Ukrainian military began training to operate HIMARS systems.