US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington does not encourage Kiev troops to strike the territory of Russia, but will continue to provide Ukraine with the military assistance it needs to defend itself.
Washington “neither encouraged nor enabled the Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia,” the top US diplomat told reporters after the US-Australian negotiations in Washington on Tuesday.
However, he added that the United States and its allies were determined to provide the Kiev government with “the equipment that they need to defend themselves, to defend their territory, to defend their freedom.”.
Earlier on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon secretly modified advanced rocket systems supplied to Ukraine in order to allegedly prevent them from firing long-range missiles into the territory of Russia.
Several US officials confirmed that the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) supplied to Ukraine have been uniquely modified, according to the Wall Street Journal. The sources that spoke on condition of anonymity said that Washington took this step to “reduce the risk of escalating the conflict with Russia.”
Washington provided Ukraine with 20 HIMARS since June. The U.S. also supplied the warring country with Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) that have a range of 50 miles and are being used to strike Russian ammunition depots and command centers in the occupied regions of Ukraine.