Pentagon announces new $460mln military assistance package to Ukraine
The Pentagon announces that Washington is sending some $460 million to Ukraine in the form of aid in light of the ongoing war in the country.
The Pentagon announced Monday that the Biden administration was providing a new security package to Ukraine amounting to $460 million.
"This is the Biden Administration’s thirty-second drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021 and it is valued at up to $460 million," a Department of Defense statement said.
Moreover, the Pentagon said its latest package would include more ammunition for US-made equipment that already made it to Ukraine, as well as new equipment units.
"This authorization includes more ammunition for U.S.-provided HIMARS and Howitzers that Ukraine is using to defend their country as well as more Javelins, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars," the statement read.
Among other things, the US will deliver additional 155mm artillery rounds, 120mm mortar rounds, approximately 2,000 anti-armor missiles, as well as four Bradley Infantry Fire Support Team vehicles, spare parts, and other field equipment, the DoD said.
As the anniversary of the war in Ukraine nears, US President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kiev on Monday, promising to deliver increased arms for Ukraine and expressing his unceasing support.
This is Biden's first trip to the country since the war started on February 24, 2022. Air raid sirens rang out across Kiev as both Presidents met.
Biden took the chance to promise Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that more arms will be sent and that they have his unflagging commitment to helping Ukraine.
"I will announce another delivery of critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars to help protect the Ukrainian people from aerial bombardments," Biden was quoted as saying in a White House statement.
Zelensky took Biden's visit as a key sign of support. He welcomed the American president in an English message on Telegram and called his visit "an extremely important sign of support for all Ukrainians."
This comes days after US Office of Foreign Assistance at the State Department Dafna Rand said Wednesday the US expected to provide an additional $9.9 billion in budget support to Ukraine.
"The US has provided $13 billion in budget support to the Government of Ukraine, and working with Congress in the coming months, we plan on providing $9.9 billion," Rand told a press briefing.
"[W]e remain committed to working with the Government of Ukraine to maintain its operational capacity and to provide additional budget support as necessary," Rand added.
Biden's handling of the war has mostly divided opinion along partisan lines. Among Democrats, 40% have high confidence in Biden to handle the crisis, 50% have some confidence, and 9% have none. A huge majority of Republicans (76%) believe they have little confidence. These figures have remained basically constant since last May.
The US President has agreed on sending light multiple rocket launchers known as HIMARS, Patriot missile systems, Bradley fighting vehicles, and Abrams tanks, among others. However, Biden continues to reject Ukraine's request for fighter jets.
Moreover, the official said the United States was assessing how to best utilize seized Russian assets in its effort to provide additional aid to Ukraine.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in early February that the US has approved for the State Department to use the assets of Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeyev seized in Ukraine.
The US took millions of dollars from Malofeyev's US bank account in June as a result of sanctions placed on the Russian businessman in April.
According to Garland, the US State Department will confiscate a total of $5.4 million to "help the people of Ukraine."