Zelenskyy to discuss delivery of ATACMS long-range missiles with Biden

11.09.2023, 11:59
Zelenskyy to discuss delivery of ATACMS long-range missiles with Biden - Photo
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Photo: Presidential Office of Ukraine

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy hopes to convince Joe Biden to provide to Ukraine ATACMS long-range ballistic missile systems, a move Kyiv has long pleaded for to gain another edge in the months-long full-scale war with Russia.

In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakharia, Mr Zelenskyy stressed that Ukraine’s priority military needs included long-distance weapon systems, including ATACMS and modern fighter jets.

"Let's start from the ATACMS, I hope– and I will speak with President Biden. For me, it's very important, his thoughts and his support in it. I think he can turn this page in this war. Once he did it with the HIMARS [multiple rocket launch systems]," he said.

"I will speak with President Biden again. It's not the first dialogue [about ATACMS]... I hope we'll get it in autumn."

ATACMS is an American tactical ballistic missile system, with a range of 165 to 310 kilometres, that can be launched from HIMARS and MLRS systems. So far, Ukraine has received HIMARS ammunition with a 70 to 80 kilometres’ range.

The Ukrainian president added that long-range weapons delivery was important so as not to pause the ongoing counteroffensive in the eastern and southern regions.

"All of us want to have success and a happy end. First of all, it's not a movie. It's not one hour and a half. It's about counter-offensive. We will not have a happy end. We lost a lot of people. That we have to recognise.

"Victory, that's only thing that can bring the de-occupation of our land. It means not giving the possibility for Russia to attack other countries, the Baltic [states], Poland, and then bringing all of us back to the USSR."

Ukraine's ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, said in June the Biden administration has shown a 'change of heart' regarding possible transfer of long-range ATACMS missiles to Kyiv.

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