President Biden agreed to send Ukraine longer-range weapons. The armaments are part of a $700 million aid package for Ukraine that was just announced.
The longer-range military weapons have been demanded by Ukrainian officials for weeks. High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems will now be sent to them (HIMARS). These guns are far more potent than the older Howitzers currently in use by the Ukrainian army.
HIMARS can hit targets from 40 to 300 miles distant with pinpoint accuracy. This has raised the question of whether such long-range missiles will be utilised to strike targets within Russia.
In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, Vice President Joe Biden attempted to answer these questions.
In order to minimise mission creep, Biden reaffirmed the US role in the Ukrainian conflict, stating, "We are not pushing or supporting Ukraine to strike beyond its boundaries." We don't want to keep the war going only to hurt Russia."
President Biden will have to reassure NATO partners, particularly France and Germany, that these weapons will not be utilised in any way to attack Russia. Vladimir Putin notably warned against the delivery of long-range missile systems in a phone chat with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron.
On the issue of long-range weaponry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has taken a similar stance. "It is a deliberate provocation (by Ukraine) aimed at drawing the West in military action," Lavrov said at a press briefing.
According to reports, US authorities have gotten "assurances" from Ukrainian officials that these missile systems will not be utilized against Russian targets. Officials in Russia said they don't believe these assurances.' They are, however, undecided about how they will react if Ukraine launches strikes against Russia. "Let's not talk about worst-case scenarios," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov remarked when questioned about this prospect.
These weapons transfers take place against the backdrop of a Russian war that has recently moved its focus to the Donbas region. Russian forces now control a sixth of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian President Vlodomor Zelensky.
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