MOSCOW (AA) Russia slammed on Thursday the US decision to send additional Patriot missile systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to the Middle East. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters in Sochi that this move meant escalation of the situation in the region. “This is a reflection of the line on conscious escalation,” Ryabkov said.

“We have no doubt that the political and military leadership of the United States does not stop at any action in order to complicate the situation to the maximum and, most importantly, to increase pressure on Iran,” he said. Ryabkov called on to strengthen the security measures in the Persian Gulf region. The region may be plunged into a new conflict and it would be “absolutely unacceptable, given the severity of the consequences of such a development,” he warned. He said: “We have taken an interest in the recent proposal of the Iranian foreign minister, Mr. [Javad] Zarif, to conclude a non-aggression pact between the Gulf countries. “This is a productive idea,” he said.