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WSJ: US close to approving ATACMS for Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek June 29, 2023 9:35 PM 2 min read
Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) is fired during a joint exercise between the United States and South Korea on Oct. 5, 2022. (Photo: South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)
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The U.S. is close to approving the supply of Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) for Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) wrote on June 29, citing U.S. and European officials.

According to the WSJ's sources, the decision is still pending approval "at the highest levels," but the White House came to realize the need to bolster Ukraine's fight in the coming weeks.

The Wagner Group rebellion may have provided an argument to the skeptics, however, that now is not the time to escalate the situation, the WSJ wrote.

CNN reported that NATO urged Kyiv not to strike against Russian targets during the ongoing rebellion on June 23-24, so as not to create the impression that the Allies are siding with Prigozhin and interfering in Russia's internal matters.

U.S. lawmakers submitted a bill to Congress on June 16 proposing the allocation of $80 million for the purchase of ATACMS for Ukraine.

The supply of missiles with a 300-kilometer reach to Ukraine has been a hotly debated topic among U.S. politicians since last year. In July 2022, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Washington was not ready to provide ATACMS, fearing this move could spiral into World War III.

However, 2023 saw the White House's reluctance weaken on many previously withheld pieces of gear, such as Abrams tanks or F-16 fighter jets. In May, Biden said that ATACMS are also "still in play."

Critics argue that allies' reluctance to supply ATACMS missiles to Ukraine may prevent Kyiv from liberating the rest of Ukrainian territory. A shortage of long-range weapons may also prolong Russia's war of aggression and result in thousands of deaths.

Although Washington has so far refused, Kyiv received Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles with a range of over 250 kilometers from the U.K.

Reznikov: ‘Main event’ in counteroffensive still to come, reserves not yet committed
Ukraine’s main troop reserves have yet to be used in the counteroffensive, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told the Financial Times on June 28.

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