US not confirming reports on Ukraine getting ATACMS missiles
US Defence Department Spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrik Ryder. Photo: Pentagon

The US defence department on Monday said it could not confirm media reports that the Biden administration might soon decide on the transfer of ATACMS long-range missiles to Ukraine.

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The Financial Times reported on Sunday that US president Joe Biden "is nearing" a decision on sending long-range missiles to Kyiv, a move Ukraine has long pleaded for in order to bolster its counterofensive against Russian troops.

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.

However, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said there was "nothing new to announce" in that respect.

"We will continue to maintain close contact with Ukraine and our allies and our partners on their security assistance needs," Mr Ryder told a briefing on Monday.

"Of course, we're going to work with Ukraine to provide them what they need to be successful."

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier said he hoped to convince Mr Biden to transfer ATACMS long-range ballistic missile systems as early as this autumn.