US unlikely to announce ATACMS package during Zelensky's visit: Axios
The US has debated the issue of sending the long-range missile systems to Ukraine for at least four months and is set to fail Zelensky during his visit to Washington next week.
The US does not plan to announce a package that includes longe-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's upcoming visit to Washington next week, according to Axios.
The Biden administration continues to debate the issue of sending the missile systems to Kiev, despite Ukraine's hope that the US would provide it with the weapons, the news website said on Friday, citing unnamed sources informed on the matter.
Supplying potential ATACMS missiles to Kiev will not alter the battlefield dynamics. Instead, it represents another escalation and "in the road to nowhere," according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
Previously, rumors originating from Western media outlets have suggested that the Biden administration is likely to provide Kiev with cluster bomb-laden missiles and rockets installed onto ATACMS or Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) as part of a new weapons package.
No signs of progress
Following the success of cluster munitions delivered in 155 mm artillery rounds in recent months, Reuters reported that the US is considering shipping ATACMS that can target Russian positions up to 306 km from the point of launching and propelling more than 300 bomblets at a time.
With Ukraine's counteroffensive showing no signs of progress, the administration is desperate to keep the Ukrainian life-support machine going.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the most recent military package amounting to over $1 billion for Ukraine during an unannounced visit to Kiev and said the US noticed "good progress" in the counteroffensive, but that claim was quite shortlived.
According to the four sources, the decision to send ATACMS, GMLRS, or both, is not final and might yet fail. For months, the Biden administration has struggled to make a decision on ATACMS, fearful that its shipping might be interpreted as an unnecessarily aggressive step towards Russia.