The Biden administration released the outlines of the latest $700 million security package it is sending to Ukraine on Tuesday, which includes rocket systems with longer ranges than earlier supplies.
According to senior administration officials, the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) will provide Ukrainian soldiers with more precision when striking against Russian assaults. However, according to officials, these upgraded systems will not be utilised to hit targets within Russia.
Officials further stated that Ukraine will not be given long-range missiles and that Ukraine has promised the US that it will not launch medium-range rockets into Russian territory.
The aid package also includes radar equipment, more Javelin missiles, anti-armour weapons, helicopters, tactical vehicles, and numerous types of ammunition. In addition, according to officials, the aid package, which is set to be unveiled on Wednesday, would include rockets capable of travelling up to 45 miles (70 kilometres).
The US decision to send advanced rocket systems seeks to find a balance between the desire to assist Ukraine in combating Russian artillery barrages while avoiding providing weaponry that could allow Ukraine to attack targets deep within Russia and spark an escalation of the war.
Biden promised Ukraine more advanced weaponry and financial help while further isolating Russia. However, in a New York Times op-ed, Biden also stated what the United States would not do.
“As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow,” the president wrote. “We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia.”
Biden’s op-ed comes a day after stating that the US will not “supply Ukraine rocket systems capable of striking into Russia.”
“We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders,” Biden wrote in the op-ed. “We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia.”
In his op-ed on Tuesday, Biden reaffirmed his commitment to avoid sending American soldiers to fight in Ukraine or engage Russian forces — as long as the US and NATO allies are not attacked.
“America’s goal is straightforward: We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression,” Biden wrote.
“So long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we will not be directly engaged in this conflict, either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or attacking Russian forces,” the president wrote.
The new long-range weapons and explosives, according to Biden, will allow Ukrainian forces to “more precisely strike key targets on the Ukrainian battlefield.” However, he also warned that the US would keep working with its allies to politically and economically isolate Russia.
The package, which Biden signed earlier this month, is designed to keep Ukraine going until September when the Russian onslaught enters its fourth month.
The aid package comprised over $14 billion for food aid, refugee support, and other diplomatic programmes and more than $20 billion for the Pentagon to provide weapons, intelligence, and training.