US to hold off on ATACMS missile announcement until after Zelenskyy’s Washington visit

16 September, 01:27 PM
Launch of the ATACMS missile from the M270 MLRS in South Korea in 2017 (Photo:Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea)

Launch of the ATACMS missile from the M270 MLRS in South Korea in 2017 (Photo:Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea)

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is reportedly not planning to make a decision regarding the transfer of ATACMS missiles to Ukraine during President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s upcoming visit to Washington next week, U.S. news website Axios reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

The source said that discussions are still ongoing within the Biden administration regarding the supply of ATACMS missiles to Ukraine. This issue was reportedly raised by Ukrainian officials during U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Kyiv last week.

The White House has declined to comment on this matter.

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Previously, the Kremlin had warned that supplying longer-range missiles would cross one of its “red lines.” However, every time the U.S. and its allies have previously provided news weapons to Ukraine, which Moscow criticized similarly, there has usually been only a muted response, or no response at all.

The meeting between Zelenskyy and Biden is scheduled for Sept. 21 at the White House. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has suggested that a new package of military aid for Ukraine might be announced next week.

The United States announced on Sept. 6 that it would provide Ukraine with depleted uranium tank rounds as part of a $175 million aid package.

The next day, on Sept. 7, the United States revealed a package of up to $600 million in aid, including equipment to support anti-aircraft defense and ammunition.

U.S. television news channel ABC News previously reported, citing sources, that the United States might include long-range ATACMS missiles in a future military aid package to Ukraine. According to U.S. newspaper the Wall Street Journal, Washington could approve the transfer of a limited number of ATACMS missiles to assist Ukraine in its defense efforts.

U.S. television news channel CNN reported on Sept. 12 that the likelihood of a positive decision regarding ATACMS was now “much higher” than before. Similar information has been reported by several other major Western media outlets.

However, the Pentagon has not yet confirmed that the United States is close to making a decision on providing long-range missiles to Ukraine.

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