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President Biden stressed that the U.S. would not work to oust Vladimir Putin and would continue to push for diplomatic ends to the war in Ukraine, even as the U.S. continues to provide weapons to the nation.
‘We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia,’ Biden wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times published Tuesday night. ‘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 piece was far more toned-down than the president’s comments in late March, when he did call for Putin’s ouster.
‘For god’s sake this man cannot remain in power,’ he said of Putin in an emotional speech at the time.
The Kremlin reacted furiously at the quote and the White House moved quickly to clear it up, saying Biden was not calling for a regime change in Moscow.
‘The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change,’ a White House official said.
President Joe Biden said Tuesday night that he would be arming Ukraine with ‘more advanced rocket systems and munitions,’ in a new op-ed for The New York Times outlining, ‘What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine’
Biden stressed that the U.S. would not work to oust Vladimir Putin and would continue to push for diplomatic ends to the war in Ukraine
‘As President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has said, ultimately this war “will only definitively end through diplomacy,”‘ the president wrote for the Times. ‘Every negotiation reflects the facts on the ground. 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.’
Still, he added that he was not encouraging Ukraine in public or in private to concede any territory to Russia.
Biden announced that he would be arming Ukraine with ‘more advanced rocket systems and munitions,’ in the op-ed outlining, ‘What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine.’
The use of the medium-range rocket systems will be restricted to be used only in Ukraine, White House officials said.
‘The Ukrainians have given us assurances that they will not use these systems against targets in Russian territory, and so based on those assurances we are very comfortable they will not,’ a senior White House official said on a call with reporters.
Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines of the fight in the Donbas region. The new weapons could be used to attack Russian forces in this part of Ukraine
Additionally, the White House said it would not be providing Ukraine with longer-range systems.
Biden stressed that the U.S. was not encouraging Ukraine to strike beyond its borders.
‘We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia,’ he added.
Biden’s op-ed was published on the eve of the 11th package of security assistance for the war in Ukraine being announced.
‘We will continue providing Ukraine with advanced weaponry, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger antiaircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision rocket systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters and ammunition,’ Biden said.
That package, worth $700 million, will include HMARS – High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems – and ammunition, counter-fire radars, a number of air surveillance radars, additional Javelins, anti-armor weapons, more artillery rounds, several helicopters, additional tactical vehicles and a spare parts package, a White House official said.
Smoke rises in the city of Severodonetsk during heavy fightings between Ukrainian and Russian troops at eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas
Administration officials were pressed several times on whether Ukraine’s leadership had pledged not to use the new rockets on the border to shoot inside Russia – before saying they had made that agreement.
The rockets can travel around 48 miles.
Ukrainian forces are expected to use the rockets to target Russian forces in the Donbas region.
The package will be the first financed by the most recent supplemental appropriations bill passed by Congress, which Biden signed into law during his trip to Asia.