The administration of US President Joe Biden decided to provide Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles before President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the US but chose not to announce it publicly.
The Financial Times reported this, quoting its sources. The long-range missiles should help the Ukrainian army fight against the Russian invading troops.
The FT’s source said this was done not to give the Russians a clue or encourage them to move their supply lines further away from the front line. The sources said the US will send missiles soon, initially in small numbers.
They also reiterated the already known information that Washington would send a version of the missiles armed with cluster munitions rather than a single warhead.
Sending the missiles with cluster munitions will help alleviate some of the concerns of US officials that a single-warhead delivery would deplete US stockpiles, the sources said.
Earlier, NBC News reported that Biden told Zelenskyy at a meeting at the White House that Washington would provide a small number of ATACMS missiles to help in the war against Russia.
NBC News cited three unnamed US officials and a congressional representative familiar with the talks who confirmed that US President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Washington would provide a small number of long-range ATACMS missiles to help in the war against Russia.
Washington has previously explained its refusal to transfer long-range missiles by saying that the United States does not have sufficient stocks of these weapons. Another reason, privately voiced by US officials, is the fear of escalation by Russia.