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US Senators urge Biden to immediately send long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine

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A group of US senators sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to send long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine’s military to support it in its counter-offensive against Russia.

“We write to urge you to immediately send MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine. Additional delay will only further undermine US national security interests and extend this conflict,” Republican Senators Tom Cotton, Roger Wicker, Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham wrote in the letter to Biden.

They wrote: “For many months, Ukrainian officials have stated the need for ATACMS to fill a critical gap in long-range fires capability. Providing ATACMS would enable Ukraine to strike key Russian logistics and communications targets as well as cruise missile and drone launch sites within Russian-occupied Ukraine.”

Ukraine has long argued for strong air defenses to protect against Russian aerial assaults and be capable to return fire. In August, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that Ukraine’s defenses were not yet capable of protecting its whole territory against Russian attacks.

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Also in August, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he requested the US provide Ukraine with the ATACMS long-range missiles in a phone call with US Secretary of State.

The senators added: “Providing these weapons to Ukraine would maximize the likelihood of success in its current counteroffensive and follow-on operations. ATACMS could also augment Ukraine’s ability to destroy Russian defensive formations.”

They highlighted that the US is fully capable of providing these weapons without any appreciable risk to its own combat capability. “Ukraine has significantly degraded Russian combat power and only requires a small portion of our stockpiled ATACMS. Further, the US has the capability to produce hundreds of ATACMS and Precision Strike Missiles a year and replenish its inventory in the near term.”

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