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Reuters: Senior US Republicans call Biden to send long-range missiles to Ukraine

“Clearly, it is time for you to finish the job on ATACMS,” the lawmakers wrote to US President.
ATACMS. Credit: Dean Johnson
Reuters: Senior US Republicans call Biden to send long-range missiles to Ukraine

A group of senior Republican lawmakers have called on US President Joe Biden to provide longer-range missiles to Ukraine, according to a letter seen by Reuters on 2 November. The request comes amid continued bipartisan support in Congress for military aid to Kyiv, even as some conservatives push back against further assistance.

The letter, dated 1 November, was signed by the top Republicans on the House and Senate foreign relations and armed services committees – Representatives Michael McCaul, Mike Rogers, and Senators James Risch and Roger Wicker.

According to Reuters, the lawmakers welcomed reports that the Biden administration has supplied Ukraine with limited-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS). However, they asked Biden to send more longer-range missile systems, writing, “Ukraine’s requirement for deep-strike capability remains urgent, particularly to range targets throughout Crimea.”

The Republicans sent the letter as the House moved toward a vote on standalone aid to Israel rather than the $106 billion national security package sought by Biden that includes funding for Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military first used US-provided ATACMS missiles in October, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praising their effectiveness, saying that the weapons had “proven themselves.”

The lawmakers argued Ukraine has shown it can responsibly employ such weapons and that Russia has not escalated in response.

“Clearly, it is time for you to finish the job on ATACMS,” they wrote to Biden, warning of “stalemate” and “global instability” if he does not.

Earlier, Voice of America journalist Miroslava Gongadze reported on X/Twitter that Ukraine would receive new missiles with a range of 300 kilometers as early as January 2023.

General Valery Zaluzhnyi revealed in an interview Ukraine’s first ATACMS missile strike on Russian-occupied Crimea on 30 October, underlining Ukraine’s intensified operations in the region, which is the “linchpin” of Putin’s imperial restoration project.

On 30 October, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with a bipartisan delegation of US representatives. The leaders discussed continuing comprehensive US assistance for Ukraine. Zelenskyy stressed the importance of Biden submitting a budget request to Congress that provides military and other aid.

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