The United States will not send Ukraine rocket systems that can reach Russia, President Joe Biden said on Monday, as Ukraine pushes for a longer-range weapons system to help in its fight. He says the US is working with Russia on a solution to the crisis and it is possible they will provide Ukrainian forces with shorter-range missiles.
US Will Not Send Ukraine Longer-Range Missile Systems
The United States will not help Ukraine develop longer-range missile systems, Vice President Joe Biden said during a visit to Kiev on Thursday. “The United States is not going to provide any assistance in developing longer-range missile systems,” Biden said.
The statement comes as tensions continue to mount between the two countries, with Ukraine accusing Russia of arming separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia has denied all accusations and has called for a full investigation into the events leading up to the war.
Biden’s statement is likely to relieve some of the pressure on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who has been under pressure from Western powers to take stronger action against the Russian-backed separatists. However, it remains to be seen how Ukraine will be able to defend itself without help from its NATO allies.
Russia’s Reaction to Ukraine Buying Weapons
Russian officials have reacted angrily to reports that Ukraine has purchased weapons from the United States, including cruise missiles and air-defense systems. Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin accused the United States of trying to “contain” Russia and of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Rogozin said that the weapons purchases show that Washington is “not a friend of Russia.”
Russian Media Reacts to Biden Statement
Russian media is reacting to Vice President Joe Biden’s statement on Wednesday that the United States will not help Ukraine develop longer-range missile systems. Biden said that this would be counter to the NATO-Ukraine agreement, which calls for defense cooperation between the two countries. Russian state news agency TASS quoted a source in the Ukrainian military as saying that Biden’s statement “caused deep disappointment.”
What Does This Mean for the United States?
This announcement by Biden signals a clear break from the Obama administration’s policy of refusing to sell Ukraine’s long-range missile systems, which could help defend its territory from Russian aggression. The move comes as NATO nations gear up for a possible invasion by Russia, and Ukraine is in need of more advanced defense capabilities in order to stand up to Moscow.
Although the United States has been reluctant to sell Ukraine such systems, this recent statement signals a clear change in policy and opens up the possibility that the United States may be more willing to provide Kyiv with military assistance in the future. The sale of these missile systems would likely require congressional approval, but this decision by Biden may signal a new willingness on the part of the Obama administration to work with Congress on foreign policy matters.