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Russia warns Japan of ‘serious consequences’ if Patriot missiles made there end up in Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s newly appointed ambassador to Japan has warned Tokyo of serious consequences and retaliatory steps if Patriot missile systems manufactured under U.S. licence in Japan end up in Ukraine, the RIA news agency reported on Friday.

RIA cited the new envoy, Nikolai Nozdrev, as saying that Moscow would be watching closely to see where Japanese arms exports ended up after Tokyo softened its export rules at the end of last year.

In particular, he said, Russia would be watching to see if and when any Patriot missile complexes and missiles made in Japan under U.S. licence are exported to the United States and then to Ukraine.

“Accordingly, we will be watching carefully 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 him as saying.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)