President Joe Biden said on Monday that the United States would not send Ukraine rocket systems that can reach Russia.
Reports said that the Biden administration was preparing to send advanced long-range rocket systems to Kyiv for its fight against Russia.
“We’re not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems” that can reach Russia, Biden told reporters after arriving at the White House on Monday.
Ukrainian officials have pursued a longer-range system called the Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS, that can fire a barrage of rockets hundreds of miles away.
CNN and The Washington Post reported Friday that the Biden administration is committed to sending a high-mobility artillery rocket system, called HIMAR, a separate system from the MLRS, to Ukraine as part of a larger military aid package.
The Ukrainian government has called on the West to provide long-range weapons to turn the tide of the war. At present, it is the fourth month. US officials said such weapons systems were being actively considered.
The United States has provided the Ukrainian military with thousands of Stinger man-portable anti-aircraft and Javelin anti-aircraft missiles and advanced drones and field artillery.
However, last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Western countries of supplying Ukraine with weapons that could attack Russian territory and that such a move was “critical to unacceptable escalation.” I warned that this would be a step forward.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said that the urgency of the need for large weapons in his country at the earliest could be summarized in two words MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System and ASAP).
Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba said on May 25 that the situation in the eastern region of the Donbas was “terrible”. The missile system could help Ukrainian troops capture places like the southern city of Kherson from Russian occupation forces that invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Kuleba said he had about ten bilateral meetings with other leaders whose countries possess such systems, The Associated Press reported.
“The response I get is, ‘Have the Americans given it to you already?’” he said, alluding to US leadership. “So this is the burden of being a leader. Everyone is looking at you. So Washington has to keep the promise and provide us with multiple launch rocket systems as soon a
“If we do not get an MLRS ASAP, the situation in Donbas will get even worse than it is now,” he added. “Every day of someone sitting in Washington, Berlin, Paris and other capitals, and considering whether they should or should not do something, costs us lives and territories. Others will follow.”
More than 4,000 people have been killed in Ukraine and millions more displaced since the Russian invasion began.