The prospect of deploying tactical ballistic missiles MGM-140 ATACMS to Ukraine, according to Republican Senator and Senate Foreign Relations Committee co-chair Jim Risch, is “quite high.”
The legislator told this in an interview with Voice of America. Senator Risch was asked what the chances are that Ukraine will obtain ATACMS if these missiles are featured in the House version of the US Defense Budget bill.
“I think that possibility is quite high. From the beginning, I said – to give Ukraine everything that shoots until it is a nuclear weapon. Any other weapons we have should be available to Ukrainians. Whether it’s fighter jets, F-16 or ATACMS missiles – all we have,” Risch explained.
Senators aim to press Biden administration on ATACMS delivery
The senator emphasized that this will take time. Still, he and his colleagues aim to press the administration of US President Joe Biden. He claims that the White House has already increased its efforts, as have other nations.
On June 9, legislators from both the Republican and Democratic parties introduced a resolution in the United States Congress demanding the transfer of ATACMS missiles to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, said that for the first time in a long time, officials in Washington changed their minds about sending ATACMS to Ukraine.
US will provide ATACMS to Ukraine after replenishing its stockpile
Washington has no objections to providing Ukraine with long-range and precision-guided ATACMS missiles. However, the US Army needs more missiles in stock to transfer them without jeopardising its own defence capabilities.
Despite this, the transfer of other long-range ATACMS missiles, which have twice the range of GLSDBs (300 km), is still relevant. At the same time, according to Laura Cooper, Deputy Pentagon Advisor for Ukraine, Russia and Eurasia, the United States is currently unable to find “free” ATACMS for the Armed Forces.