The American president, Joe Biden will receive his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelensky, at the White House this Thursdayat a time when Washington considers sending ATACMS long-range missiles to kyivwhich Ukraine has been insistently demanding for months.
John Kirby, one of the White House spokespersons, said this Wednesday in a press conference that the Administration has not yet made a final decision, but is evaluating the proposal. “We are discussing this matter in the Government and, of course, we are in discussions about this with our Ukrainian partners,” Kirby said.
Biden already mentioned during the NATO summit in Vilnius (Lithuania) in July that they were considering sending ATACMS missiles to Ukraine, but at that time, his focus was on sending artillery, since that is what is being done the most. using on the battlefield.
Ukraine has since increased its insistence, arguing that the ATACMS missiles, with a range of approximately 300 kilometers, would be particularly effective in neutralizing Russian missile launchers in Crimeafrom where Odessa is often attacked.
The White House has shown some reluctance to send this type of weaponry to Ukraine due to its range, since the ATACMS could hit Russian towns and trigger a response from Moscow against Washington.
However, at the NATO summit in Vilnius, France announced the shipment of long-range SCALP missiles to Ukraine, while the United Kingdom decided to send the Ukrainian armed forces in May Storm Shadow missiles with a range of approximately 250 kilometers.
The meeting between Biden and Zelensky at the White House, scheduled for 3:00 p.m. local time (7:00 p.m. GMT), comes at a time when the US Congress is debating the approval of an additional $24 billion in humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine.
Some Republicans in the House have been reluctant to continue sending aid to Ukraine, arguing that the counteroffensive is having less satisfactory results than expected.
In order to dispel these concerns, Zelensky will take advantage of his visit to Washington to meet with both Democratic and Republican members of CongressKirby explained.
Furthermore, Zelensky will visit the Pentagon on Thursday, in what will be his first visit to this headquarters of the US Armed Forces.
At the Pentagon, Zelensky will meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and other senior military leaders, Kirby said.
Zelensky’s visit to Washington comes after his participation in the United Nations General Assembly’s High-Level Week in New York, where leaders from around the world gather to address crucial issues and deliver speeches to their peers.
(With information from EFE)