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Ukraine Says U.S. Decision To Provide NASAMS Air-Defense Systems 'Already Made'

NASAMS anti-aircraft missile systems are deployed during preparations ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, in 2014.

NASAMS anti-aircraft missile systems are deployed during preparations ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, in 2014.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said that U.S. President Joe Biden's administration had already decided to provide Ukraine with sophisticated air-defense systems known as NASAMS as Kyiv fights off a seven-month-old Russian military invasion.

It is thought to be the first public acknowledgement by either side that Ukraine was being given the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System.

There was no immediate confirmation from U.S. officials of the decision, which reportedly came in late August.

"We absolutely need the United States to show leadership and give Ukraine the air-defense systems. I want to thank President Biden for a positive decision that has been already made," Zelenskiy said in the interview broadcast on September 25, as quoted by Reuters.

Ukrainian officials have reportedly been lobbying for the NASAMS.

"But believe me, it's not even nearly enough to cover the civilian infrastructure, schools, hospitals, universities, homes of Ukrainians" that have been destroyed or threatened, Zelenskiy said of the purported air-defense boost.

Zelenskiy also thanked U.S. officials for so-called high-mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) that have already been supplied and other systems helping Ukraine battle the largest army invasion in Europe since World War II.

Based on reporting by Reuters

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