Ukraine lobbying for longer-range missiles "is not just a whim, but a real need," said Andriy Yermak, head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office. "The effectiveness of the army on the battlefield, as well as the lives of the military and our progress depend on it,” he added.
Ukrainian officials had been working with partners on the issue for a long time, and that Ukraine’s request for ATACMS missile was moving forward, he added.
The ATACMS is a long-range US-guided missile with a range of around 300 kilometers (186 miles). It would extend the range of Ukrainian attacks well beyond the front lines to Russian supply lines and logistics hubs. Acknowledging this missile capability, Yermak said it would "speed up" Ukraine's victory.
Ukraine is also developing its own longer-range missiles.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba emphasized the critical need for further air defense systems to protect Ukrainian ports used to export grain to the world and to prepare against expected Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure and cities as winter approaches.
At a news conference in Kyiv with the visiting German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, he said discussion on the supply of German long-range Taurus cruise missiles has been under discussion in Berlin for weeks, and expressed frustration at the delay in receiving the weapons.
"We could have achieved more and saved more lives of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians if we already had Taurus. And all we are telling the German government we respect your discussions, we respect your procedures, but from everything we know about Taurus there is not a single objective argument against not doing it," he said.