The U.S. will provide Ukraine with more advanced rocket systems and precision-guided munitions, including HIMARS systems, but they will not be used to target Russia’s territory, President Joe Biden announced in an opinion article in the New York Times published on Tuesday.
“America’s goal is straightforward: We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression,” Biden wrote. “We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia,” he added, as quoted by Politico.
Zelensky: Ukraine’s calls for long-range weapons aimed at protecting Ukraine’s territory, not attacking Russia’s territory
Kyiv, in its turn, has given the United States assurances that the new weapons will be used in Ukraine and not against targets in Russia, senior administration officials told mass media.
The officials stressed that the new rockets will be used solely to strike targets on the battlefield in Ukraine, not into Russia.
“We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders,” the official said.
Along with the HIMARS, the U.S. will send “munitions that will enable the Ukrainians to more precisely strike targets on the battlefield from a greater distance,” according to one of the officials.
Moreover, President Volodymyr Zelensky himself said that Ukraine’s calls for long-range weapons are aimed at protecting Ukraine’s territory, not attacking Russia’s territory, Zelenski said. “We are not interested in what is happening in Russia … We are only interested in our own territory,” the Ukrainian president assures, according to Pravda.ua.
However, Russia has taken personally the announcement of the ammunition delivery to Ukraine. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov told the RIA Novosti state news agency that Moscow considers “extremely negative” US military aid to Ukraine and that it could increase the risk of a direct confrontation, reports The Guardian.
Riabkov outlined US plans to provide Kiev with its high-mobility artillery (Himars) missile system, a system of multiple missile launchers that Washington has said it will provide to Ukraine as part of its latest military aid package. “Attempts to present the decision as an element of ‘self-control’ are futile,” Riabkov said. “The fact that the United States, at the head of a group of states, is engaged in a deliberate pumping of weapons under the Kyiv regime is obvious,” he added.