US may provide Ukraine with a new variant of long-range ATACMS missiles: NBC learned details

Biden administration leans toward supplying Ukraine with long-range missiles

After numerous requests from Ukrainian officials, the Biden administration is considering providing Ukraine with new powerful long-range ATACMS ballistic missiles. This will allow Ukraine to strike deeper inside the Russian-controlled Crimean peninsula.

This is reported by NBC News, citing comments by two US officials, whose names have not been disclosed. As noted, at the beginning of last year, the United States began supplying Ukraine with ATACMS missile systems, but these were mostly older versions of the medium-range ATACMS.

If the Republicans continue to block the delivery of US military aid to Ukraine, the White House may turn to an ally to provide Kyiv with longer-range ATACMS missiles that can reach Russia-occupied Crimea.

However, US funding for arms shipments to Ukraine remains uncertain due to resistance from former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. Last week, the Senate approved a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Still, it is unclear whether and when the GOP-controlled House of Representatives will vote for it and whether it will be approved.

Defense officials told NBC News that ATACMS stockpiles are limited and that it cannot be shipped to Ukraine without allocating funds to replenish US stockpiles.

According to two US officials, if Congress approves increased funding for Ukraine, the U.S. could include the long-range ATACMS missiles in one of the first military aid packages funded by the money. They also noted that the United States has ready-made ammunition and artillery that could be immediately shipped to Ukraine if funding is approved.

Officials do not rule out the possibility of asking allies to provide missiles to Ukraine and replenish their ATACMS stockpiles.

"Without an additional funding bill, we currently do not have a security assistance package to provide to Ukraine. At the same time, I will not speculate on the content of any future packages if a supplemental is passed. We will let you know if that changes and if we have a new package to announce," the US Department of Defense spokesman said in an official comment.

Earlier, Bloomberg columnist Hal Brands said that if Washington does not provide assistance to Ukraine, it will have serious and global consequences that will undermine US policy for many years to come. Despite the fact that Europe provides significant financial support to Ukrainian troops, it cannot provide the necessary military equipment, which is extremely important for Ukraine at the moment.

As reported, at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, US Vice President Kamala Harris said that Washington had no plan in case Congress blocks aid to Kyiv. The White House has only one plan A: to support Ukraine and provide it with everything it needs.

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