Politico: Ukraine will ask the US for missiles with a range of 300 km and UAVs Gray Eagle and Reaper

Politico: Ukraine will ask the US for missiles with a range of 300 km and UAVs Gray Eagle and Reaper
# 21 December 2022 12:41 (UTC +04:00)

Ukraine will ask the US for ATACMS missiles, APA reports citing Politico.

During the meeting with Biden and his national security team, the Ukrainian delegation is expected to make another round of pleas for long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, and Grey Eagle and Reaper drones, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The person and others were granted anonymity to describe internal discussions.

But U.S. officials aren’t ready to budge. The Biden White House has flatly rejected sending the ATACMS. The costs of doing so are high, U.S. officials say. Sending long-range missiles to Kyiv could risk provoking Putin using potentially even more lethal weapons inside Ukraine.

That U.S. hesitation has concerned Ukrainian officials and forced senior military leaders inside the country to seek help from others, including countries outside the Western alliance. Now, the Ukrainians fear they will not be able to advance on the battlefield this winter and will lose the momentum they gained after liberating Kherson.

“For us the strategy is to continue attacking because we cannot afford to freeze the frontline. We need to constantly press,” said Oleksandr Danylyuk, Ukraine’s former national security adviser, who has continued to advise on military planning. “We have reached the limit of what we can do with the advanced weapons the U.S. has already provided. For the next stage, we need the longer-range weapons to achieve [our] goals.”

Since the war began, the Ukrainian government has repeatedly requested more advanced weapons. And the U.S. and other Western allies have moved — albeit slowly — to fill such requests, working to evaluate their potential effects on the battlefield and whether they required additional training and special transport.

On Wednesday, Biden plans to announce that it is giving Ukraine more of the other weapons it has asked for, even as it stands firm against supplying longer-range resources.

The administration will present a new, $2 billion military aid package that will, for the first time, include a Patriot air defense battery and Joint Direct Attack Munition kits — which turn fighter jets’ unguided bombs into precision-guided munitions, said the person familiar with the discussions. Also included in the package is $850 million worth of artillery and other munitions from existing U.S. stockpiles.

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