Biden: US will not provide long-range missiles to Ukraine

Washington, May 30 (EFE).- President Joe Biden said Monday that his administration will not send long-range missiles capable of reaching Russian territory to Ukraine, despite the fact that Kyiv has urgently requested them from the West to help it strike back at staging areas for Russian invasion forces.

When asked by reporters at the White House about whether he was planning to send this kind of weaponry to Ukraine, Biden responded that he will not send “rocket systems that can strike into Russia.”

The US president made his remarks on the matter just before departing for Arlington National Cemetery, on the outskirts of Washington, where he paid tribute – as per longstanding tradition – to US war dead on Memorial Day, a national holiday being celebrated on Monday.

In early May, Biden asked Congress for more money to continue aiding Ukraine defend itself against the massive military invasion launched by Moscow on Feb. 24 but also to be able to guarantee the replenishment of US weapons stocks for its own defense.

“The cost of this fight, it’s not cheap, but caving to new aggression is going to be more costly,” said Biden at the time, adding: “We either back the Ukrainian people as they defend their country or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities and aggression in Ukraine.”

The president also told Congress and the nation that it was “critical this funding gets approved and approved as quickly as possible.”

On April 28, Biden formally asked Congress for $33 billion in additional aid for Ukraine – which Congress later upped to $40 billion – of which more than $20 billion will be destined to military assistance to support Kyiv in its fight against Russia.

Although Pentagon and White House spokespeople have insisted that the aid to Ukraine does not affect the US ability to defend itself, they also acknowledged that an ongoing evaluation is being made of US weapons reserves every time new war materiel is dispatched to the beleaguered East European nation.

EFE arc/rrt/bp

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