(This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.)
MOSCOW: The Kremlin said on Wednesday that longer-range rockets reportedly included in an upcoming package of military aid from the United States to Ukraine would escalate the conflict but not change its course.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also told reporters that there were no plans for Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold talks with U.S. President Joe Biden.
The U.S. package of military aid, worth $2.2 billion, is expected to include longer-range rockets for the first time, two U.S. officials briefed on the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
Such rockets would allow Ukraine - which has said it plans to retake all of its territory by force, including annexed Crimea - to strike deeper into Russian-held territory.
Asked about the new aid package, the Kremlin's Peskov said:
"Yes, this is a direct way to escalate tensions, to increase the level of escalation, we can see that. It requires us to make additional efforts, but - once again - it will not change the course of events. The special military operation will continue."
Putin sent tens of thousands of Russian troops into Ukraine in February last year. He has said the operation was needed to protect Russia's own security and to stand up to what he has described as Western efforts to contain and weaken Moscow.
Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of waging an illegal war designed to expand its territory. (Reporting by Reuters Editing by Andrew Osborn)