Ukraine-Russia Conflict: US agrees to send long-range missiles to Kyiv

US President Joe Biden has informed his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy that America will provide a small number of long-range missiles to aid the war against Russia, NBC News reported.

US President Joe Biden has informed his Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that his nation will provide a small number of long-range missiles to aid the war with Russia. Photo Courtesy: White House Instagram page

Three US officials and a congressional official familiar with the discussions told NBC News they did not say when the missiles would be delivered or when a public announcement would be made.

For months, Ukraine has asked for the Army Tactical Missile System, known as ATACMS, which would give Kyiv the ability to strike targets from as far away as around 180 miles, hitting supply lines, railways, and command and control locations behind the Russian front lines, the news channel reported.

Defence officials have said the US does not have a large stockpile of excess ATACMS, which have a bigger payload than traditional artillery, to provide to Ukraine. Also, some in Washington DC have resisted supplying the weapon, known colloquially as “attack-ems,” out of fear that it would widen the war with Russia.

The congressional official told NBC News there was still a debate about the type of missile that would be sent and how many would be delivered to Ukraine. They added that countries in Eastern Europe had already given Ukraine large portions of their weapons stockpiles.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine told world leaders in the UN General Assembly that alongside its ongoing nuclear threat, Russia is also weaponising essentials like global food and energy markets, and using them “not only against our country, but all of yours as well”.

Since the start of the war, Ukrainian ports in the Black and Azov seas were blocked by Russia and its ports on the Danube River targeted by drones and missiles, he said.

“It is a clear Russian attempt to weaponise the food shortage on the global market, in exchange for recognition of some, if not all, of the captured territories.”