US President Joe Biden has told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the United States will provide a small number of ATACMS long-range missiles to help in the war with Russia, NBC News reports, citing officials and a congressional representative.
It is not yet known when the missiles will be delivered and when to expect a public announcement of such a step.
Ukraine has been requesting ATACMS for several months. This system will give Kyiv the ability to hit targets up to 300 kilometers away, striking supply lines, railroads, and command and control points on the Russian front.
Defence Ministry officials have stated that the United States does not have large stockpiles of ATACMS systems. In addition, there are opponents of such a step in Washington because of fears that it would lead to an escalation of the war with Russia.
A congressional representative said that there are still debates about what type of missile will be sent and how many units will be given to Ukraine.
The provision of ATACMS to Ukraine may accelerate Germany's decision to transfer its own Taurus air-launched cruise missiles.
President Zelenskyy, speaking to Ukrainian journalists in Washington, D.C., said that Ukraine is working hard to obtain long-range weapons, and the results of this work will be visible in some time. Regarding the prospects of providing Ukraine with ATACMS missiles, Zelenskyy emphasised that it is generally about strengthening Ukraine's long-range capabilities: "It will be the same as with the F-16.”