President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the United States will be providing Ukraine with “more advanced rocket systems” and other US weaponry as part of the latest weapons package for Ukraine.
“We have moved quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weaponry and ammunition so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table,” Biden wrote in a New York Times article published Tuesday. “That’s why 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.”
“If Russia does not pay a heavy price for its actions, it will send a message to other would-be aggressors that they too can seize territory and subjugate other countries,” Biden wrote. “It could mark the end of the rules-based international order and open the door to aggression elsewhere, with catastrophic consequences the world over.”
The package of weapons includes missiles that will allow Ukraine to strike locations as far as 80 kilometers away, a senior US official told reporters on condition of anonymity. World leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have publicly called for such a move in recent weeks.
Experts are concerned with Washington supplying longer-range weaponry and munitions which Ukraine could use to strike targets inside Russia.
Biden had previously said that he would not send “rocket systems that can strike into Russia,” a point he emphasized in Tuesday’s op-ed. “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.”
The latest weapons package draws from a nearly $40 billion bill Congress passed last month that will provide military, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE TIMES
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