Britain, which has prided itself on being ahead of its Western allies in introducing new weapons systems to Ukraine, now appears poised to send Kyiv the long-range missiles the Biden administration has long denied it.
This was reported by The Washington Post.
In a procurement notice posted May 2 by the British-led International Fund for Ukraine, a group of northern European countries that has set up a mechanism to send weapons to the battlefield, the United Kingdom’s Defense Ministry asked for “expressions of interest” in providing strike capabilities with a range of up to 300 kilometers, or nearly 200 miles. The notice asked for responses within three days.
No final decision has been made, according to a British official who declined to confirm the type, timing or quantity of weaponry under consideration. But the notice is a substantive step toward Britain itself supplying such munitions, and the requested specifications and capabilities closely match its air-launched Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
Ukraine has long pleaded with Western nations for longer range missiles, arguing that such weapons could change the course of the war by allowing its forces to target Russian command centers, supply lines, ammunition and fuel dumps deep inside Crimea and Russian-held territory in eastern Ukraine. As Kyiv prepares to launch a major counteroffensive as soon as within the next several weeks, the ability to strike far behind Russia’s front lines would help clear the way for a ground assault with tanks and infantry troops.