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Transfer of ATACMS to Ukraine is strategic step of US support - diplomat Bryza

4 May, 2024 Saturday
18:42

Diplomat Matthew Bryza emphasizes the strategic importance of the transfer of ATACMS precision missiles to Ukraine, saying that this decision could force Russia to reconsider its military strategies and reduce the intensity of aggression

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He said this in an interview with Antin Borkovskyi, host of the Studio West program on Espreso TV.

"Yes, definitely, it is a historic decision. And you and I were anticipating it for several months. We may recall that way back in October last year when Speaker Johnson was just becoming Speaker, I expressed concern that he had consistently voted against military aid for Ukraine. However, what happened was the weight of his responsibilities helped him look at the need to help Ukraine in a different way. So he was under tremendous pressure from President Biden, but also was persuaded by President Zelensky and by Evangelical Christians, specifically Baptists from Ukraine, and over time, he simply needed to come up with a way to negotiate an agreement within the US political system. And he succeeded. He showed great skill and strategic vision. I think we should now be much more comfortable that the US Congress is aligned with the US's strategic interest in helping Ukraine," said the former US Secretary of State's adviser.

Bryza stressed the strategic importance of this step, which will not only strengthen Ukraine's defence capabilities but also force Russia to reconsider its plans.

"ATACMS, we learned last week that they had already been provided by the United States separately from this latest aid package, but secretly at the request of the government of Ukraine. That is a very important step, obviously, because it will force Russia to move back its supply depots further from the front line. It will also enable the Ukrainian forces to target more command and control centers of the Russian forces, as well as perhaps the Kerch Bridge. So this is definitely, as you said, another Russian red line that's been crossed. But so many Russian red lines have been crossed, and I think by crossing them step by step, the Biden Administration has deterred Russia from taking further escalatory steps," Bryza said.

He added that attention now focuses on Ukraine's ability to mobilise sufficient forces to continue its defence despite the challenges it faces. 

  • US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said that the US would provide Ukraine with "as many ATACMS missiles as possible" and called on partners to provide Patriot systems.
  • White House adviser John Kirby denied Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu's claims that Russia had allegedly targeted ATACMS missiles.
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