US President Joe Biden has agreed to provide Ukraine with advanced missile systems capable of targeting Russian long-range targets with precision as part of a $700 million weapons package expected to be unveiled Wednesday.
The United States is supplying Ukraine with highly mobile artillery missile systems that can accurately hit targets up to 50 miles (80 km) after Ukraine “assured” it will not use the missiles to invade Russia, senior government officials said.
In a DailyExpertNews op-ed published Tuesday, President Biden said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through diplomacy will end, but the United States must provide significant weapons and ammunition to give Ukraine the greatest leverage at the negotiating table.
“That is why I have decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced missile systems and ammunition that will allow them to attack key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine more accurately,” Biden wrote.
The package also includes ammunition, counterfire radars, a number of air surveillance radars, additional Javelin anti-tank missiles and anti-armour weapons, officials said.
Ukrainian officials have asked allies for longer-range missile systems that can fire a barrage of missiles hundreds of miles away, in hopes of turning the tide in the three-month war.
Biden told reporters on Tuesday that “we will not send missile systems to Ukraine that attack Russia”.
He did not rule out the possibility of a specific weapon system, but seemed to impose conditions on its use. Biden wants to help Ukraine defend itself but opposes supplying weapons that Ukraine could use to attack Russia.
Thousands of people have been killed in Ukraine and millions more displaced since the Russian invasion on February 24, which Moscow calls a “special military operation” to “denazify” its neighbor. Ukraine and its Western allies call this an unfounded pretext for a war to conquer territory.
The West is increasingly willing to provide Ukraine with longer-range weapons, including M777 howitzers, as its force fights Russians more successfully than intelligence officials had predicted.
But US intelligence has also warned of mounting risks, especially given the discrepancy between Russian President Vladimir Putin’s apparent ambitions and the performance of his military.
Ukraine has started receiving Harpoon anti-ship missiles from Denmark and self-propelled howitzers from the United States, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Saturday.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)