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Russia warns of 'countermeasure' as Biden vows advanced missile systems to Ukraine

Biden vows advanced missile systems to Ukraine .

Russia has vowed response to the West’s growing involvement in the Ukrainian conflict after US President Joe Biden said Washington will provide Kiev with advanced air systems.

Russia’s state-run RIA news agency quoted the country’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Tuesday that direct conflict with the US-led NATO military alliance is not in Moscow's interests, but it will respond to the growing involvement of Western countries in the conflict.

"We warn and hope that they realize the danger of uncontrolled escalation in Washington and other Western capitals," Ryabkov said, warning of adequate countermeasures.

It came after Biden on Monday night promised his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy that the US would provide Kiev with advanced air systems.

"President Biden pledged to continue providing Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defense systems," the White House said in a statement.

Zelenskyy also took to Twitter, saying he had a "productive conversation" with the US president, and that air defense systems are currently the top priority in their defense cooperation.

"A productive conversation with [the US President Joe Biden]. Air defense is currently the number one priority in our defense partnership. We also need US leadership on [ensuring] G7’s tough position and supporting our resolution at the UN General Assembly,” he wrote.

The call came ahead of an emergency meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) to discuss support for Ukraine and how to hold Russia “accountable” for recent missile attacks targeting multiple cities in Ukraine, including the capital Kiev.

Russian strikes came in retaliation to a powerful blast at a vital bridge linking Russia and Crimea, which Russian President Vladimir Putin described as an “act of terror” carried out by “Ukrainian secret services” and warned of a “harsh” response.

Russia’s defense ministry said it targeted “military command and communication facilities and energy infrastructure” in Monday’s attacks, but Kiev accused Moscow of shelling civilian areas.

Biden in his call with Zelenskiy on Monday night also said that the US and its allies would continue "holding Russia accountable for its war crimes and atrocities, and providing Ukraine with security, economic, and humanitarian assistance".

Russia's ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said more Western military assistance to Ukraine raises the risk of a wider war.

"Such assistance, as well as providing Kiev with intelligence, instructors and combat guidelines, leads to further escalation and increased the risks of a clash between Russia and NATO," Antonov told media.

The US has supplied Kiev with more than $16.8 billion worth of security assistance since Russia launched what it referred to as a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24.

Russia launched the military operation in the former Soviet republic following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the 2014 Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of the goals of what he called a “special military operation” was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

The US and its European allies have imposed waves of economic sanctions against Moscow while supplying large consignments of heavy weaponry to Kiev, defying Russian warnings.

Moscow has been critical of weapons supplies to Kiev by Washington and its Western allies, warning it will only prolong the already simmering conflict.

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