Russia Delivers Firm Warning to Japan: Forewarns of Repercussions Over Ukraine’s Potential Deal for Japanese Patriot Missiles

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Nikolai Nozdrev, the newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Japan, warned Tokyo of severe repercussions and punitive measures if Patriot missile systems manufactured in Japan under license from the United States were to be sent to Ukraine. This statement was made during his inaugural interview as ambassador in Tokyo.
Nozdrev warned that Moscow will closely monitor the destination of Japanese arms exports following Tokyo’s relaxation of export regulations last year. He mentioned that Russia will be vigilant for any potential shipment of Patriot missile complexes and missiles produced in Japan under license from the United States to Ukraine through the US.
“Accordingly, we will be observing to make sure that the Patriots delivered do not end up in Ukraine, because if that happens, there will be the most severe consequences for bilateral (Russia-Japan) relations, including our retaliatory steps,” RIA cited the ambassador as saying.Patriot missiles made in Japan to Ukraine. Nozdrev stressed that this action could harm Russia-Japan relations and lead to “retaliatory steps.”
He said it was too soon to discuss specific actions at this time, but they were being worked out. He also mentioned that “we hypothetically consider such a situation is a normal part of any foreign policy and defense planning.”
He further told the Russian publication, “In the situation with Patriot supplies, it is obvious that all these decisions were taken very quickly, if not in a hurry, to carry out a specific task.
By the end of 2023, the White House announced Japan’s agreement to supply Patriot air defense systems to the United States. This was enabled by Japan relaxing its stringent export rules on arms, permitting the transfer of weapons produced under a license from one nation to others. The Associated Press reported on the speculation regarding the possible use of these weapons by Ukraine in its conflict with Russia subsequent to this development.
The Patriot missile, made by the U.S. defense firm Raytheon and officially called the MIM-104 Patriot (Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept On Target), is a key part of U.S. and allied air and missile defense. Its capability to combat different threats, such as ballistic and cruise missiles, aircraft, and now, loitering munitions, has made it a valuable system for Ukraine in light of the ongoing Russian attack.
Despite Russia’s warnings, Japan’s shift to support Ukraine with military hardware indicates a deeper commitment to its alliance with the United States. This alliance is under scrutiny as President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plan to meet in Washington to discuss further military support for Ukraine and the broader implications for the Indo-Pacific region.
The warning also comes at a time when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has intensified the pitch for more air defense systems in the wake of a massive aerial strike carried out on March 21 and March 22. Zelensky said Ukraine does not have enough air defense systems to protect the country’s entire territory from Russian attacks.
“Patriot systems must protect Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia; air defense is required to protect people, infrastructure, homes, and dams. Our partners know exactly what is needed. They can support us. These are necessary decisions. Life must be protected from these savages from Moscow,” he said about the large-scale overnight strikes.
The United States has promised to provide Ukraine with air defense systems and artillery ammunition to repel a Russian invasion, but American armament manufacturers are finding it difficult to meet the demand. There is concern in Washington that its stocks of missiles and ammunition are drying up as it caters to Ukraine in the protracted war.

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