White House Says Biden Doesn’t Want WW3

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Joe Biden

The US President Joe Biden does not want the standoff with Russia over Ukraine to trigger a global war, according to the White House national security spokesman John Kirby.

Kirby made the comments just days after the White House confirmed that Biden had granted Kiev permission to use US-supplied weapons to launch strikes inside Russia.

RT reports: Ukraine had requested an easing of restrictions on the use of foreign arms after Russian troops launched a new offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkov Region last month, capturing several border villages.

“We’ve been concerned about escalation since the very beginning of this war. And those concerns remain valid,” Kirby told ABC News on Sunday. “The president has said he does not want to be responsible for starting World War III. We’re not looking for a conflict with Russia, another nuclear power.”

Kirby said Biden “had understood all of the ramifications” of allowing Kiev to use American weapons “for counter-fire purposes.” He reiterated that Ukrainians were only permitted to target bases, artillery positions and other military sites “that Russians were using to create some sort of buffer zones.” 

The White House previously clarified that the ban on the use of the “ATACMS [missiles] or long-range strikes inside of Russia has not changed.” Russia, however, said that Kiev had already been using ATACMS and other long-range weapons to hit targets in Crimea, the Donbass, as well as the regions of Zaporozhye and Kherson. Kiev and its Western backers continue to view these recently incorporated Russian territories as Ukrainian land. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the operation in Kharkov Region is aimed at stopping frequent Ukrainian cross-border mortar and missile attacks on Belgorod and other Russian cities. Moscow has no plans to seize the city of Kharkov itself, he told reporters during his trip to China last month. 

Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of heavy weapons to Ukraine from the West will not deter the Russian forces, while stressing that such aid risks a dangerous escalation. 

Niamh Harris
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