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Ukraine's ambassador says negotiations with USA on ATACMS missiles ongoing

Other priorities include air defence, artillery, armour, strike jets and drones.

Ukraine's ambassador says negotiations with USA on ATACMS missiles ongoing
Oksana Markarova
Photo: EPA/UPG

Negotiations with US partners to provide Ukraine with ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles with a range of up to 300 km are ongoing. They would enable the Ukrainian defence forces to hit Russian targets throughout Ukraine. In an interview with, Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova expressed hope that Ukrainians would receive these capabilities in the near future.

"I will put it this way: negotiations are ongoing. We are in the process of getting these long-range missiles and striking enemy targets throughout Ukraine by launching missiles from the ground. We hope that in the near future we will have these capabilities," she said.

Air defence remains the top priority in the provision of weapons. Currently, the only limitation is the physical availability of the necessary systems.

"Obviously, the more systems (Patriot, NASAMS, IRIS-T) and missiles we have, the more protected our citizens and cities will be. That is why every US defence aid package includes missiles for air defence systems. We are busy working to ensure that the United States constantly orders these systems and their components for us," the ambassador explained.

Artillery is another priority. The United States currently manufactures approximately 24,000 artillery shells per month and plans to increase production to 80,000 over the next year. However, according to Markarova, even this will not be enough to meet Ukraine's needs in full.

"The third is everything related to strike aircraft: planes, helicopters, any drones. The United States has already adapted and transferred to us a large number of missiles for aircraft, kamikaze drones and other important equipment," she added.

The fourth is armoured vehicles, auxiliary equipment, especially demining vehicles.

"We need everything we've been getting, and we need to keep adding new capabilities," she explained.

In June 2023, the US media reported that Washington was close to authorizing the supply of ATACMS coveted by Kyiv. However, in July, the Washington Post reported that the United States could not make a decision on this issue, believing that Ukraine had more pressing needs. The Americans are concerned that sending a large number of missiles to Ukraine to change the situation on the battlefield would seriously undermine US preparedness for other possible conflicts.

ATACMS has a range of up to 190 miles (300 km), or about 40 miles more than the missiles France and Britain are supplying to Ukraine.

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