Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that if the West starts handing over more long-range weapons to Ukraine, Russia will strike at targets it has not hit before, TASS news agency reports.
At the same time, Putin noted that such weapons have not been handed over to Ukraine yet, and the multiple rocket launchers that recently decided to send to Kyiv are "nothing new" as Ukraine already has weapons that can hit the same range.
"In general, all this fuss over additional arms supplies, in my opinion, has only one goal — to prolong the armed conflict as far as possible," Putin said.
New weapons package from the United States
The United States is allocating a new $700 million defense package to Ukraine, including the light multiple rocket launchers that Kyiv has requested, such as HIMARS.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the package will include systems capable of hitting targets at a distance of more than 40 miles (about 64 kilometers). However, according to Reuters, the first batch will contain only four such systems.
According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ukraine has assured the United States that it will not use the new MLRS to strike at Russian territory. He also stressed that these weapons are not only provided for defense purposes, but also to strengthen positions during the talks.
At the same time, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink has noted that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be able to regulate the range of the HIMARS system.
In general, such systems are able to perform the role not only of MLRS, but also short range ballistic missile systems (SRBM) with a range of up to 300 kilometers.