US Department of State says Ukraine requested not to announce ATACMS delivery back in March

Thursday, 25 April 2024

The United States did not announce the transfer of long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine at the request of the Ukrainian side.

Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the US Department of State, followed the White House in confirming the transfer of long-range weapons to Ukraine.

Patel noted during a briefing that US President Joe Biden had privately issued the relevant order in February.

He clarified that the missiles were part of a military aid package announced by the United States on 12 March, and that the missiles themselves arrived in Ukraine "this month".


"We did not announce this at the onset in order to maintain operational security for Ukraine at their request," Patel said.

He added that Ukraine could tell the US about the missiles' use and "how they may or may not be operationalized in their own military operation."

US media quoted sources as saying that Ukraine had received ATACMS as part of a previous US$300 million military aid package announced in March and had already used them against Russian targets in temporarily occupied Crimea and Zaporizhzhia Oblast at least twice.

On 24 April, US President Joe Biden signed a bill passed by Congress that provides nearly US$61 billion in additional military and economic assistance to Ukraine, as well as assistance to other US allies. 

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