Kiev has given Washington assurances that US-supplied rocket launchers won’t be used to attack targets inside Russian territory, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday. He was the latest US official to raise the issue, as Moscow voiced concerns over the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Blinken was asked about the HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems, the latest high-tech weapon the US has committed to sending Ukraine.
“The Ukrainians have given us assurances that they will not use these systems against targets on Russian territory,” Blinken said, adding, “There is a strong trust bond between Ukraine and the US, as well as with our allies and partners.”
He also dismissed Moscow’s warnings and concerns that Washington’s weapons deliveries to Kiev risked further escalating the conflict.
“The best way to avoid escalation is for Russia to stop the aggression and the war it started,” Blinken said, arguing that it could be “over tomorrow” if Moscow so chose, but is likely to go on for “many months” instead.