Washington announced its position on Ukraine's long-term military operations outside its borders, and revealed a new arms deal with one of its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

"We did not encourage or enable the Ukrainians to carry out strikes inside Russia," US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters.

"What is important is that we understand what Ukrainians suffer daily as a result of the continuous Russian aggression," he added, accusing Russia of "using winter as a weapon" by launching attacks on civilian infrastructure.

Blinken confirmed that the US administration "is keen to have in their hands the equipment they need to defend themselves, their land and their freedom," in reference to the Ukrainians.

Speaking with Blinken after talks with their Australian counterparts, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Washington is not preventing Ukraine from developing long-range missiles on its own, adding, "We are not working to prevent Ukraine from developing its own capabilities."

Do not allow or encourage

Earlier, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the United States does not allow or encourage Ukraine to carry out military operations outside its borders, stressing that US and international aid to Ukraine is intended to support its independence and sovereignty.

"We provide Ukraine with what it needs to use on its sovereign territory, on Ukrainian soil, to confront the Russian aggressors," Price said.

Price avoided commenting on a report by the Wall Street Journal that indicated that the United States had modified the Himars missile systems that it supplied to Ukraine and which are believed to have turned the balance on the battlefield, preventing them from targeting Russia's territory.

US President Joe Biden stresses that he does not support providing Ukraine with long-range missile capabilities for fear of an escalation that could involve the United States in a direct confrontation with Russia.

In this regard, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that the United States has sufficient weapons stockpile to continue to assist Ukraine.

Sherman added during her participation in a symposium at Louis University in Italy that the fastest way to peace in Ukraine is for Russia to withdraw all its forces.

She pointed out that Western support for Ukraine succeeded in resisting the Russian invasion, as she put it, stressing the necessity of continuing this support.

US arms deal with Poland

In a related matter, the United States announced that it had agreed to sell Poland an additional 116 Abrams tanks and other heavy weapons, in a deal worth a total of $3.75 billion and comes after Warsaw bought 250 tanks of this type last April.

The US State Department said in a statement that Poland wants to buy 116 Abrams tanks in its modernized version (M1A1), 12 rescue vehicles (Hercules M88A2), eight portable bridges for M1110 offensive operations capable of enabling tanks to cross rivers, and about 50 light vehicles and light weapons. and its ammunition.

According to the statement, "This proposed deal will enhance Poland's ability to confront current and future threats by providing it with a credible force capable of deterring adversaries and participating in NATO operations."

US soldiers during the installation of a platform for Patriot missiles (Reuters - Archive)

Poland accepts a German offer

For its part, Poland announced its acceptance of the offer made by Berlin two weeks ago to install Patriot missile batteries on its territory, after the Polish government had rejected this offer and proposed to its German counterpart to send this defense system to Ukraine.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Twitter that he had spoken on Tuesday with his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht and "I accepted with disappointment her decision to refuse to support Ukraine."

He added, "The installation of Patriot missiles in western Ukraine would have strengthened the security of Poles and Ukrainians at the same time. From here, we make practical decisions about where to install the batteries in Poland and link them to our command system."

On November 21, Germany offered Poland to provide it with Patriot missiles to install these American-made batteries in its eastern border regions with Ukraine.

The German offer came after two people were killed in a Polish village near the Ukrainian border by a missile that Warsaw and NATO said were fired by Ukrainian air defenses to counter Russian air strikes.