(Reuters) - Russia warned Britain on Tuesday that if it continued to provoke Ukraine to strike targets in Russia then there would be an immediate "proportional response".
Russia's defence ministry cited statements from Britain's armed forces minister James Heappey who told BBC radio that it was entirely legitimate for Ukraine to hunt targets in the depths of Russia to disrupt logistics and supply lines.
"We would like to underline that London's direct provocation of the Kiev regime into such actions, if such actions are carried out, will immediately lead to our proportional response," Russia's defence ministry said.
"As we have warned, the Russian Armed Forces are in round-the-clock readiness to launch retaliatory strikes with high-precision long-range weapons at decision-making centers in Kyiv."
The defence ministry also said that if such Russian strikes were made it would not necessarily be a problem if representatives of a certain Western country were located at Ukraine's decision making centres.
Britain's Heappey said it was completely legitimate for Ukraine to strike Russian logistics lines and fuel supplies and he acknowledged the weapons the international community was now providing had the range to be used in Russia.
(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)