Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko on Thursday expressed concerns to Japan over its recent decision to provide domestically made Patriot interceptor missiles to the United States, saying the move heightens tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Rudenko made the remarks during a meeting with Japanese Ambassador to Russia Akira Muto, apparently reflecting Moscow's concern that shipping such missiles to the U.S. could benefit Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Muto refuted the arguments, saying Tokyo's decision was meant to "contribute to Japan's national security and the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific," according to the Japanese Embassy in Russia.

The ambassador also said Japan does not expect the missiles provided to its key security ally to be used in Ukraine.

Last week, the Japanese government largely relaxed its strict rules on defense equipment exports, paving the way for the pacifist nation to transfer Japan-made, U.S.-licensed Patriot surface-to-air guided missiles to the U.S.

Japan believes that helping replenish U.S. munition stockpiles at a time when the U.S. continues to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia's invasion will be important for maintaining deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Rudenko criticized the Japanese government for "destructive actions" that are adversely affecting bilateral ties, which have already deteriorated amid the war in Ukraine.

During a news conference on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that there would be "grave consequences" to bilateral ties if the Japanese-made missiles for Patriot air defense systems end up in Ukraine.