US sends advanced weapons to Ukraine, as Kyiv promises not to target inside Russia
The US Secretary of State says Ukraine has given an undertaking not to use long-range rocket systems to target inside Russia. Antony Blinken was addressing a news conference with NATO chief, Jens Stoltenberg, after the US agreed to supply Ukraine with the weapons.
“The Ukrainians have given us assurances that they will not use these systems against targets on Russian territory. There is a strong trust bond between Ukraine and the United States, as well as with our allies and partners.”
Earlier this week, the US confirmed it would supply Ukrainian forces with the advanced missile systems, having initially stated it wouldn’t. According to an AFP report, these include the Himars multiple-launch rocket system, which is capable of launching multiple precision-guided missiles simultaneously.
However, US President Joe Biden has warned that attacks inside of Russian territory will not be supported, as this would greatly escalate the risk of direct conflict between the US and Russia. Blinken has dismissed the suggestion that by supplying Ukraine with the advanced missile systems, the US is already risking escalation with Moscow. He says it’s within Russia’s power to stop the war on Ukraine at any point.
“It is Russia that is attacking Ukraine, not the other way around. And simply put, the best way to avoid escalation is for Russia to stop the aggression and the war that it started. It’s fully within its power to do so.”
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