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NBC News says USA leaning toward supplying Ukraine with long-range missiles

If Republicans continue to block US military aid to Ukraine, the White House could turn to an ally to provide Kyiv with ATACM missiles capable of striking Russian-held Crimea.

NBC News says USA leaning toward supplying Ukraine with long-range missiles

After months of requests from Ukrainian officials, the Biden administration is working toward providing Ukraine with powerful new long-range ballistic missiles, according to two U.S. officials, NBC News reports.

Late last year, the USA began to supply Ukraine with Army Tactical Missile Systems, known as ATACMS, but so far it has provided only the older medium-range ATACMS. Now, the USA is leaning toward sending the longer-range version of the missile, the officials said, which would allow Ukraine to strike farther inside the Russian-held Crimean Peninsula.

But US funding for arms shipments to Ukraine remains uncertain because of opposition from former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. Last week the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. But it's not clear whether or when the GOP-controlled House will vote on the measure or whether it would survive the vote.

Defense officials told NBC News that the USA has a limited inventory of ATACMS and that it is not likely to send them to Ukraine without money to replenish US stockpiles.

If Congress approves more funding for Ukraine, the USA could include the long-range ATACMS in one of the first packages of military aid paid for with that money, according to the two US officials. The USA also has ammunition and artillery ready to send to Ukraine immediately if the funding is approved, the officials added.

The officials did not rule out asking allies to provide the missiles to Ukraine, as well, and replenishing their ATACM stockpiles.

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