Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Ukraine has assured the US that they will not use weapons systems provided by the US “against targets on Russian territory.”
“There is a strong trust bond between Ukraine and the United States, as well as with our allies and partners,” said Blinken at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The Biden administration has announced it will be sending Ukraine US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS, with munitions with a range that fall shorter than what Ukraine had requested.
Blinken also said that regarding concerns about Russia interpreting the US sending these new weapon systems to Ukraine as escalatory, that President Biden had been clear with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the consequences of the Russian invasion, including sending security assistance to Ukraine.`
“There was no hiding the ball. We’ve been extremely clear about this from day one with President Biden communicating that directly to President Putin. So we have done exactly what we said we would do,” said Blinken.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that "it's not so much a question of deterring Russia at this point," but rather making sure that Ukraine has the equipment to push back Russian aggression and therefore have the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.
Blinken noted that Russia has "committed the aggression and they're pursuing it."
"What we're working to do, and the Secretary General said this very eloquently, is to make sure that the Ukrainians have in hand what they need to defend against this aggression, to repel it, to push it back. And as well, and as a result of that, make sure that they have the strongest possible hand at any negotiating table," he said.
He reiterated that the US will continue to provide defensive capabilities to Ukraine.