The US will not provide Ukraine with long-range missiles that can reach targets deep in Russia. President Joe Biden ruled out that on Monday despite repeated requests from the Kyiv government for such weapons.
Russian Security Council Vice-President Dmitry Medvedev called the US decision “rational”.
US media said in recent days that Washington was preparing for delivery of the so-called Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). Such multiple rocket launchers can hit targets up to 300 kilometres away, but the Americans consider the risk of being directly involved in the war too great a result.
Other weapons mentioned are the so-called Himars with a range of 70 to 150 kilometres. That is a lot further than the howitzers that, for example, the Netherlands supplies to the Ukrainian army.
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said last weekend that he hoped to receive “good news” this week from Western allies about new arms shipments.
“It is difficult to fight when you are attacked from 70 kilometres away and you have nothing to defend yourself with,” said his chief adviser Michailo Podoljak. “If the West really wants Ukraine to win the war, maybe it’s not time to give us MLRS?”