New York, May 31 (EFE).- The United States Tuesday appeared closer to sending a long-range multiple-rocket system (MLRS) to Ukraine as President Joe Biden Tuesday said he would ship advanced missile systems to the war-torn nation.
“I’ve decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine,” Biden wrote in a late-night op-ed in The New York Times.
A government official told the media, in a background call, that the US would provide a long-range missile system as part of a new $700 million weapons package for Ukraine.
The US official said the new shipment of weapons would include the so-called High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, which will allow more precise strikes on targets from a greater distance.
Russia, which invaded Ukraine on Feb.24, sees such weapons delivery as a provocative escalation.
The US official said the weapons would be used to target Russian systems in Ukraine and would not be fired into Russian territory.
Biden on Monday said the US would not send Ukraine “rocket systems that can strike into Russia.”
In his New York Time article titled “What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine,” Biden wrote the Ukraine war would end through diplomacy.
But he insisted that the US must help Kyiv militarily so “it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.”
“Every negotiation reflects the facts on the ground. We have moved quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weaponry and ammunition.”
Biden said the US would continue providing Ukraine with advanced weaponry, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger antiaircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision rocket systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters, and ammunition.
“We will also send billions more in financial assistance, as authorized by Congress.”
He said the US would work with its allies and partners to address the global food crisis that the Russian invasion sparked and “is worsening.”
“And we will help our European allies and others reduce their dependence on Russian fossil fuels, and speed our transition to a clean energy future.”
He said the US government would continue reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank with forces and capabilities from America and other allies.
“And just recently, I welcomed Finland’s and Sweden’s applications to join NATO, a move that will strengthen overall US and trans-Atlantic security by adding two democratic and highly capable military partners.”
He said he did not seek a war between NATO and Russia.
“As much as I disagree with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow,” Biden said.
He reiterated America would not be directly engaged in the conflict and would not send American troops to fight in Ukraine “as long as the United States or our allies are not attacked.”
“We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders. We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia.”