President Joe Biden has reportedly promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the US will provide his country with a long-range missile system that his forces could use to attack targets in Russian-occupied territories or within Russia itself.
According to NBC News, Mr. Biden told Mr. Zelensky that he would agree to handing over at least one Army MGM-140 tactical missile system to Ukraine's armed forces at some point in the future.
The US-built missile system, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, can be fired from the M-142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers, which have been used by Ukrainian forces for some time. But unlike other missiles, the ATACMS can be used to attack targets up to 180 miles away, which would allow Ukrainian defense forces to attack command and control and supply sites far behind the Russian front.
Citing four sources, NBC reported that Mr Biden told Mr Zelensky that the US would transfer “a small number” of the long-range missiles, even though the US does not have a large stockpile of them.
Mr. Zelensky and his government have been pushing American officials for months for the ATACMS system, saying the weapons they have are unable to attack targets deep within Russian-controlled territory within Ukraine's borders.
Mr. Biden and his aides have pushed back against deploying the system, which is also used by South Korea, Romania, Greece, Turkey and Poland, citing the possibility of its use in attacks on Russian soil.