The United States is reportedly on the verge of approving the transfer of Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), a long-range missile system, to Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported on June 29, citing several U.S. and EU officials.
Launched from M270 or HIMARS rocket artillery platforms – both are in service with the Ukrainian military – ATACMS missiles can strike targets 300 kilometers away, delivering up to 560 kilograms of explosive payload.
The sources said that the issue is currently being deliberated at the highest levels of government. It's been suggested that factions within the U.S. government, including those in the White House, who had previously expressed reluctance, are now recognizing the urgent need to bolster Ukraine's capabilities.
“Amid the domestic turmoil in Russia, where over the weekend the founder of the Wagner mercenary force staged an abortive mutiny, U.S. and European officials indicated that now might be the time to provide the more advanced weaponry,” the article reads.
A high-ranking official from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has also indicated that Kyiv has been receiving positive responses from Washington concerning the transfer of ATACMS systems in recent weeks. Ukraine has expressed its need for long-range missiles, especially to target Russian military bases in occupied Crimea.
Previously, the U.S. House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee backed a resolution urging President Joe Biden's administration to supply Ukraine with ATACMS missiles.
On June 16, a defense budget bill was presented to the U.S. Congress, which proposed the allocation of $80 million for the purchase and transfer of ATACMS missiles to Ukraine.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov previously stated that the United States is hesitant to transfer ATACMS missiles to Ukraine, out of concerns that Ukraine's Armed Forces might target Russian territory with the new weapons.
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