U.S President Joe Biden wrote in an opinion piece in the The New York Times on Tuesday that the U.S. will provide the Ukrainians with “more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine.”
Biden said the U.S. will continue providing Ukraine with “advanced weaponry, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger antiaircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision rocket systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters and ammunition.”
“We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia,” Biden said.
In the article, Biden wrote, “As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the U.S. will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow.”
“So long as the U.S. or our allies are not attacked, we will not be directly engaged in this conflict, either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or by attacking Russian forces,” he wrote.
He made it clear that “we are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders. We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia.”
Biden has previously said that he won’t send rockets to Ukraine that could reach Russia.
CNN later reported that senior U.S. administration officials have confirmed that the U.S. will be sending U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS, as part of the country’s 11th package of security assistance to Ukraine.
According to CNN, the systems will be equipped with munitions that will allow Ukraine to launch rockets up to 80 kilometers away.
“That is far less than the maximum range of the systems, which is around 300 kilometers, but far greater than anything Ukraine has been sent to date. The M777 Howitzers the US sent to Ukraine last month, for example, marked a significant increase in range and power over previous systems, but even those top out at around 25 kilometers in range,” CNN explained
Russia responded that the U.S. decision to supply advanced rocket systems and munitions to Ukraine was extremely negative and would increase the risk of a direct confrontation.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told state news agency RIA Novosti that Moscow views U.S. military aid to Ukraine “extremely negatively.”
At a news conference following his visit to Saudi Arabia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow had heard signs of reasonable assessments from Washington regarding arms deliveries to Kyiv.
“We have heard signs of reasonable assessments [regarding arms supplies to Ukraine] from Washington, we have repeatedly communicated our position in this regard through the channels that exist between our countries, between Russia and the key Western states, they know it well,” he noted.
(With input from agencies)
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka
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