Democrat President Joe Biden has agreed to send a small number of long-range missiles to Ukraine, according to reports.
Biden promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that American taxpayers would send the weapons to perpetuate the nation’s endless war effort against Russia..
U.S. officials said Biden made the offer during his meeting with Zelensky Thursday, according to Fox News.
Information about the number, type, and date of delivery was not disclosed.
The Biden admin says it is keeping the information secret so as not to undermine Ukraine’s use of the weapons.
The White House and National Security Council have yet to make an official announcement about the move.
Biden earlier had announced a $325 million taxpayer-funded security assistance package for Ukraine after he met with Zelensky.
The Ukraine leader visited the Capitol on Thursday for the second time since Russia first invaded his country in February 2022.
Capping his visit, which included meetings and discussions with lawmakers and Pentagon officials, Zelensky met with Biden at the White House.
Shortly after, the $325M plan was unveiled.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the package includes antitank weapons, air defense equipment, artillery rounds, and other equipment.
The DOD said the package will help meet Ukraine’s needs on the battlefield against Russia.
However, DOD officials made no mention of long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems, ATACMS, being included.
Ukraine has for months requested long-range missiles from the U.S.
The weapons would enable strikes on targets as far as 180 miles.
The range of the weapons makes Russian supply lines and other military targets behind the front lines vulnerable.
However, U.S. officials have expressed hesitancy to hand over the powerful weapons to Ukraine for fear it would escalate the war and provoke Russia.
Last year, Russian Foreign Minister Maria Zakharova said Washington would cross a “red line” by providing Ukraine with long-range missiles.
Zakharova warned that Moscow “reserves the right to defend its territory.”
High-level U.S. officials also said that ATACMS reduce the capability of the artillery the U.S. has already provided to Ukraine, known as HIMARS.
HIMARS can fire six missiles at a time, but if they are re-equipped to fire ATACMS, they can only shoot one missile at a time, officials said.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday there were no plans to send ATACMS to Ukraine.
That may have been true at the time, however.
Biden reportedly made the decision close to the time of his meeting with Zelensky on Thursday and then made the offer.
Before heading into a closed-door meeting with Biden, Zelenskyy said he was there to “strengthen Ukraine’s position to defend our children, our families, our homes, freedom and democracy in the world.”
“It’s good that our countries are really, truly allies,” he said.