Biden announces new missiles and ammunition to Ukraine in op-ed | CNN Politics


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President Joe Biden said on Tuesday the US is supplying Ukraine with “more advanced missile systems and ammunition” as the war with Russia continues.

Biden wrote in a New York Times op-ed that the US goal is “to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself from further aggression.”

He said the new load of weapons would “allow them to target key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine more accurately”.

Senior government officials on Tuesday confirmed to reporters that the US will send Ukraine-made US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems as part of the US’s 11th package of security assistance to Ukraine.

The officials said the systems the US sends to Ukraine will be equipped with ammunition that will allow Ukraine to launch missiles over a distance of about 49 miles. That is far less than the maximum range of the systems, but far greater than anything Ukraine has sent so far.

The new security assistance package, which will be officially announced on Wednesday, will also include air surveillance radars, additional Javelin anti-tank weapons, anti-armor weapons, artillery shells, helicopters, tactical vehicles and spare parts to help Ukrainians continue to maintain equipment. the officials said.

Still, Biden tried to spell out clearly what the US goals were in Ukraine and noted that the US does not want to directly involve Russia.

“We are not aiming for a war between NATO and Russia. As much as I disagree with Mr Putin and find his actions disgraceful, the United States will not try to bring about his impeachment in Moscow,” Biden said, about two months after declaring in Warsaw, Poland, that the Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot stay in power.”

The new security assistance comes as Russia has thrashed Ukraine in the east, where the country has been too quick and outsmarting, Ukrainian officials said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly pleaded with world leaders for more weapons and equipment.

CNN previously reported that US officials spent weeks debating whether to send the advanced missile systems to Ukraine because they can strike so much further than any weapons they already have. The long range of the weapons, technically capable of hitting Russian territory, raised fears that Russia would view the shipments as provocative.

“As long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we will not be directly involved in this conflict, either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or by attacking Russian troops,” Biden wrote in the op-ed. “We do not encourage Ukraine to strike outside its borders. We don’t want to prolong the war to hurt Russia.”

Last Friday, a prominent Russian television host warned that the shipment of long-range missile systems to Ukraine would “cross a red line” that would “provoke a very harsh response from Russia”. But the Biden administration made it clear it would not send ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems system that could strike deep into Russian sovereign territory.

“I think where the US stands, we want to provide all the help we can to the Ukrainians without escalating the situation to a point where the war is skipping or, frankly, going in a terrible direction,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said earlier. . Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the US has accepted some risk to its own readiness with the continued shipment of weapons from Defense Department stockpiles to Ukraine, Wormuth said, but no risk the Pentagon considers too high.

“We have been really committed to trying to provide everything that policymakers deem essential to reach the Ukrainians. And we’ve taken some risk for our own preparedness — not an unacceptable level of risk at all, but I think we’ll continue to do that,” she said as she spoke at an Atlantic Council event on the military’s role in National Defense Strategy.

The president said US officials “currently see no indication that Russia intends to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, although Russia’s occasional rhetoric to rattle the nuclear saber is in itself dangerous and extremely irresponsible.”

“Let me be clear: any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict, on any scale, would be completely unacceptable to us and the rest of the world and would have dire consequences,” Biden wrote.

This story was updated Tuesday with additional information.

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