US President Joe Biden has informed Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Washington will provide Kyiv with ATACMS long-range missiles, NBC News reported on Friday, citing three US officials and a congressional official.
Kyiv has repeatedly asked the Biden administration for Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to help attack and disrupt supply lines, air bases and rail networks in Russian occupied territory.
But the White House did not disclose any decision on ATACMS when Zelenskyy visited Washington on Thursday for talks with Biden, even as it announced a new $325 million military aid package for Kyiv.
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The White House and Pentagon declined to comment on the NBC report. The Pentagon also declined to say whether any promise of ATACMS were given to Zelenskyy during his meetings on Thursday at the Pentagon, saying: “In regards to ATACMS we have nothing to announce.”
Reuters had previously reported the Biden administration was considering shipping ATACMS to Ukraine that can fly up to 190 miles (306 kilometers).
ATACMS are designed for “deep attack of enemy second-echelon forces,” a US Army website says, and could be used to attack command and control centers, air defenses and logistics sites well behind the frontline.
Biden publicly assured Zelenskyy on Thursday that strong US support for his war to repel Russian invaders will be maintained despite opposition from some Republican lawmakers to sending billions more in aid.
Zelenskyy thanked Biden on Thursday for the latest package of weaponry, including air defenses, saying “it has exactly what our soldiers need now.”