A top aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated on Saturday that expedited discussions are underway between Kyiv and its allies on Ukraine's requests for long-range missiles, which it argues are needed to prevent Russia from bombing Ukrainian cities.
Ukraine has been promised Western combat tanks and is searching for fighter jets to strike back against Russian and pro-Moscow forces that are pushing steadily along a portion of the front line.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential adviser, told Ukraine's Freedom television network, "To drastically reduce the Russian army's key weapon - the artillery they use today on the front lines - we need missiles that will destroy their depots," On the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula, he stated, there were more than 100 artillery storage facilities.
"Consequently, negotiations are currently underway. Second, the speed of the negotiations is accelerating "He stated without providing specifics.
Separately, Zelenskiy stated that Ukraine desired to prevent Russian assaults against Ukrainian metropolitan areas and citizens.
"Ukraine needs long-range missiles ... to deprive the occupier of the opportunity to place its missile launchers somewhere far from the front line and destroy Ukrainian cities," he stated in a video speech delivered in the evening.
Zelenskiy stated that Ukraine required the 185-mile-range ATACMS missile manufactured by the United States (297km). Washington has thus far refused to supply the weapon.
Earlier in the day, the Ukrainian air force refuted a newspaper story that it planned to acquire 24 fighter jets from partners, stating that negotiations were still ongoing, according to Ukraine's Babel online publication.
El Pais, citing Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuri Ihnat, reported that Ukraine initially desired two squadrons of twelve aircraft, ideally Lockheed Martin F-16 jets.
Ihnat stated in a statement to Babel that his remarks at a media briefing on Friday had been misconstrued.
"Ukraine has barely reached the level of aircraft discussions. Currently, aircraft models and their quantity are being determined "he stated.
Ihnat stated in a briefing on Friday that F-16s may be the best option for a multi-role fighter to replace the country's aging inventory of aircraft from the Soviet era.
According to Interfax Ukraine, he also told Ukrainian national television that allied nations dislike public speculation regarding jets.
Thursday, the deputy national security adviser for the White House, Jon Finer, stated that the United States will discuss the notion of delivering jets to Ukraine and its allies "very carefully"
This week, Germany's defense minister ruled out sending jets to Ukraine.