NBC: Biden tells Zelenskyy that US will provide long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Joe Biden (Photo: EPA)

U.S. President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Washington "will provide a small number of long-range ATACMS missiles" to help in the war with Russia, NBC News reported, citing three U.S. officials and a congressional representative familiar with the discussions. The names of the officials are not disclosed.

"The officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly, did not say when the missiles would be delivered or when a public announcement would be made," NBC said.

A congressional official told NBC that there is still an ongoing debate about the type of missiles that will be sent and how many will be delivered to Ukraine.

The sources added that Eastern European countries have already transferred "large portions of their weapons stockpiles" to Ukraine.

NBC notes that some officials in Washington have resisted supplying ATACMS to Ukraine out of concern that it would "widen the war with Russia."

Representatives of the Pentagon stated that the United States does not have a large stockpile of surplus ATACMS, which have a larger payload than traditional artillery, to provide to Ukraine, the publication writes.

REFERENCE. ATACMS is an American operational-tactical missile complex with a ballistic missile. M142 HIMARS, M270 MLRS and MARS II launchers are used for launching missiles. Different modifications of ATACMS have a range of 165 to 310 km. So far, Ukraine has received HIMARS projectiles with a range of 70-80 km. The Armed Forces of Ukraine use HIMARS to strike warehouses, headquarters and other targets in the Russian rear.

On September 10, 2023, the FT wrote that US President Biden is "on the verge of a decision" to supply Ukraine with ATACMS missiles.

On September 22, Zelenskyy said that Ukraine is working on acquiring long-range weapons from allies.

If the West reduces or stops military aid to Ukraine during its liberation war for the existence of the state and people, it is "impossible to predict" how millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries will react if their country is "abandoned", President Zelenskyy said.