The Joe Biden administration decided to transfer a limited number of long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine even before the visit of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to Washington. This is stated by the British edition of the Financial Times, citing its sources. The day before, NBC, citing its sources, reported that the US President told Zelensky about the transfer of missiles at a meeting in Washington on September 21. The White House refused to officially confirm reports of the transfer of missiles to Ukraine.
According to the Financial Times, the Biden administration has decided not to make public its decision to transfer ATACMS missiles to Kyiv. One of the publication’s interlocutors noted that this was done in order not to give hints to the Russian military and not to encourage them to rebuild their supply chains in order to minimize the risk of missile strikes.
According to the Financial Times, the United States has not yet transferred the missiles to Ukraine, but will send them in the near future. We are talking about a “small quantity”, but what exactly is not reported.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, at a briefing for journalists, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, answering a question about whether Joe Biden promised Vladimir Zelensky the transfer of such missiles, said: “I am not going to confirm the existing reports. … The President has already spoken in past that ATACMS is not off the table. There is nothing new that I can announce.”
Ukraine will be able to launch ATACMS missiles from its existing HIMARS and M270 installations. According to the main media version, missiles equipped with cluster warheads may be transferred. Such missiles are primarily used against enemy infantry, and can also disable a large amount of equipment concentrated in one place (for example, at an airfield). The range is up to 300 kilometers.