Despite Patriot delivery, Joe Biden reluctant to supply some advanced weapons to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his American counterpart, Joe Biden, speaking at the White House, Wednesday December 21.

AP - Andrew Harnik

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

Volodymyr Zelensky was received as a hero in Washington this Wednesday, December 21.

During this visit, US President Joe Biden notably announced the delivery of the Patriot defense system, which Ukraine has been waiting for months.

But the Biden administration remains reluctant to provide other very sophisticated weapons requested by kyiv.


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This Wednesday, December 21, Joe Biden promised his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that the Ukrainians would "

never be alone

" against Russia and that the United States would help Kiev "

as long as it takes


He has therefore agreed to provide a new tranche of military aid of almost 2 billion dollars, which notably includes the delivery of a new type of weapon: a Patriot missile battery.

► To read also: Visiting Washington, Volodymyr Zelensky meets Joe Biden and speaks to Congress

However, faced with repeated requests from the Ukrainians, the Americans refused to deliver advanced combat tanks, such as the M1 Abrams tank and long-range missiles, which would allow Ukrainian forces to strike targets inside Russian territory.

Joe Biden has warned that such weaponry could break NATO unity.

This reluctance also has repercussions on the attitude of other Western countries, which are just as reluctant to supply more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine, for fear of escalation.

Continuing to Advance Diplomacy

While continuing to support Ukraine financially and militarily, the Americans have not abandoned the idea of ​​advancing diplomacy.

However, not everyone in the Biden administration supports Volodymyr Zelensky's peace plan, which insists on Russian withdrawal from all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.

In the immediate future, the Ukrainians show satisfaction at the end of

this trip.

The promise of the Patriot missiles, "

these are lives and civilian infrastructure saved

 ", writes the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mykhaïlo Podoliak, on Facebook.

He also speaks of "a 

new strategic defeat for Russia, which will lose its lever of intimidation and terror

 " and expresses the wish that the decision of the American president will open the way to similar initiatives on the part of the allies of the 'Ukraine.

Russian reactions

For its part, the Kremlin estimated this Thursday, December 22 that the visit of the Ukrainian president to the United States did not illustrate any “ 

willingness to listen to Russia


Russia accuses Washington of waging " 

an indirect war

 " against Moscow.

So far, we can note with regret that neither President Biden nor President Zelensky have said anything that could be perceived as a potential willingness to listen to Russia's concerns

 ," said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

According to the latter, there were no “ 

real calls for peace

 ” during this visit.


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  • Defense

  • Ukraine

  • Russia

  • United States

  • Joe Biden

  • Volodymyr Zelensky