The US government is supplying modern multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine to defend against Russian invasion as part of a new security package.
The White House said Ukraine had pledged not to attack targets on Russian territory with the US-made HIMARS artillery system. The system is part of a package worth 652 million dollars (652 million euros), which also includes, among other things, projectiles, radar systems, anti-tank weapons of the Javelin type, helicopters, vehicles and spare parts.
Put Russia in its place
US President Joe Biden wrote in a op-ed for the “New York Times “, with the modern missile systems, the attacked country should be able to hit “important targets on the battlefield in Ukraine” more precisely. At the same time, Biden assured: “We do not want a war between NATO and Russia.” Nor did the US attempt to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, if Russia does not pay a high price for attacking Ukraine, it could lead to the end of the rules-based international order and catastrophic consequences worldwide.
“Unless the United States or our allies are attacked, we will not engage directly in this conflict, either by sending American troops into Ukraine or by attacking Russian forces” , stressed the US President. “We do not encourage or enable Ukraine to strike beyond its borders. We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia.”
Americans would continue to stand by the Ukrainian people “because we know that freedom does not come for free,” Biden wrote. “We want a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine that has the means to deter and defend against further aggression.” The US would continue to work with its partners on sanctions against Russia.
No signs of nuclear weapons use
Biden underlined, there are currently no indications that Russia intends to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. “Russia’s occasional rhetoric of rattling the nuclear saber” is in itself dangerous and irresponsible. “To be clear, any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict, on any scale, would be totally unacceptable to us and the rest of the world and would have serious consequences.”
That US media reported last week that the US was considering delivery of the HIMARS system. But Biden caused confusion on Monday when he said he would not send missile systems to Ukraine that could hit Russian territory. According to his spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre, the President said that no missiles would be delivered “for use outside the battlefield in Ukraine”.
Artillery delivery “top Mission”
A senior US official said: “The Ukrainians have assured us that they will not use these systems against targets on Russian territory.” The US would supply missiles with the HIMARS system that would only have a range of around 40 kilometers – specialized missiles for use in the system, on the other hand, can reach up to 300 Fly kilometers. CNN had reported fears in the US government that Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory could result in retaliatory measures against the US.
The government representative said on a telephone switchboard with journalists that since mid-April the Ukrainians have been pushing for artillery supplies. This has become the “top priority” for the United States. Almost all of the 108 promised American howitzers of the type M777 have already been delivered. The range of these howitzers is given as around 25 kilometers. The US government has already launched several large packages of support for Ukraine. The US Congress recently passed an aid package for Ukraine worth almost 40 billion dollars. (dpa)