US announces a new $675 million weapons package to Ukraine
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announces Biden's approval of a new weapons package worth $675 million to be sent to Ukraine.
As ministers gathered to debate ways to continue arming Kiev, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that US President Joe Biden had approved an extra $675 million weapons package for Ukraine.
At the beginning of a conference of several defense ministers at the US air base of Ramstein in Germany, Austin said that the group will talk about how nations may cooperate to train the Ukrainian military and strengthen their capabilities.
Austin argued at the US base that "This contact group needs to position itself to sustain Ukraine's brave defenders for the long haul," adding "That means a continued and determined flow of capability now."
Earlier, on August 24, US President Joe Biden said, in a statement, that the instated $2.98 billion military assistance will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems, munitions, drones, and other equipment “to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term.”
This package brings the US military assistance to Kiev since the start of the war in Ukraine to almost $13.5 billion in total.
Ukraine keeps no track of US weapons
According to Acting Inspector General of the Department of Defense Sean O'Donnell, Ukraine keeps track of the weapons using "hand receipts".
"It is all paper," the official acknowledged, adding that he doubts that the Kiev authorities "have much fidelity" as to where the arms end up. O'Donnell noted that a "lack of effective record-keeping" got in the way of Pentagon investigations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, NATO officials appear to be "confident that the security was sufficient for the transfer of weapons," O'Donnell said. Interestingly, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu previously said the arms supplied by the West to Ukraine were ending up on the black market and spreading across West Asia.
Read more: Politico: US shipping some unannounced weapons secretly