WASHINGTON.– The president of USA, Joe Biden, argued yesterday that Washington will not send Ukraine long-range missile systems that can reach Russiaas Pentagon sources had informed the press and as requested by the Ukrainian authorities.
“We are not going to send rocket systems to Ukraine that can reach Russia,” I assure you Biden to reporters after returning to the White House from a weekend in Delaware.
The US media had reported that Washington was preparing to supply long-range multiple launch missile systems to kyiv, after Congress approved additional aid to Ukraine of 40,000 million dollars.
For your partthe vice president of the Russian Security Council, Dimitri Medvedev, described as “reasonable” the decision of the US president not to supply Ukraine with such missile systems.
“On the contrary, If our cities are attacked, the Russian Armed Forces should fulfill their promise to attack the centers where these criminal decisions are made.”he commented on his Telegram account, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
In the United States there were reactions against the decision. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called Biden’s decision “a betrayal of Ukraine and democracy itself.”
Graham added that Ukraine “is not asking for American soldiers, but advanced weapons to defend against Putin’s invasion. Apparently, the Biden administration is once again intimidated by Russian rhetoric.”
Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoli Antonov, had told the United States last Saturday that the shipment of new multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) would be interpreted by Moscow as an “escalation of the conflict” and a provocation. “We have to carefully verify this information,” he said then. At the moment, we start from the statements of the Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, in which he assures that a decision has not yet been made in this regard, ”he said.
The United States had begun to openly study the possibility of sendingr this kind of weaponry in recent days, according to sources from the White House to the chain CNNwith the delivery of MLRS, trained to hit targets about 300 kilometers away.
The Ukrainian government had also asked the United States for a second type of system: the M142 Himars, lighter, with a range of between 70 and 150 kilometers, far superior to the M777 howitzer batterieswhich are currently delivered to kyiv and have an effective range of no more than 40 kilometers.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was clearly in favor of sending this materialprovided that it was to be used in purely defensive circumstances, since there is a danger that the system fires long-range missiles that could safely reach Russian territory.
“There is a risk that such weapons will be placed near the Russian borders and the Ukrainians will have the opportunity to attack Russian cities. For us, it would be an unacceptable situation,” said Ambassador Antonov.
“We hope that common sense prevails – the diplomat added in this sense – and that Washington does not adopt such a provocative decision, because the pumping of weapons to Ukraine significantly increases the risks of an escalation of the conflict”, he maintained.
In this context of maximum tension, Ukrainian officials demanded more weapons from the West. “Some allies are avoiding supplying the necessary weapons for fear of escalation. Climbing, seriously? Russia is already using the heaviest non-nuclear weapons, burning people alive. Maybe it’s time to give us MLRS,” Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, tweeted.
AFP and AP Agencies