US confirms $1.2bln security Ukraine package to be externally procured
In turn, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commended the new package via a Twitter post.
A $1.2 billion security assistance package for Ukraine has been announced by the US, on Tuesday. The new package, unlike its predecessors, will not be extracted from existing American military inventories, but rather it will be procured from the defense industry or partners.
Due to this distinction, the weaponry and ammunition will take longer to arrive to Kiev while simultaneously assisting the US from facing a depleted stock.
The US State Department highlighted that the new package reaffirmed the US' committment to the war in Ukraine saying "by committing critical near-term capabilities, such as air defense systems and munitions, while also building the capacity of Ukraine's armed forces to defend its territory and deter Russian aggression over the long term."
In turn, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commended the new package via a Twitter post saying "we appreciate this sign of solidarity with Ukraine shown on a symbolic day for us -- Europe Day and the Day of Victory over Nazism in WWII," adding "Together we're moving towards a new victory!"
The package includes unidentified air defense systems and ammunition in addition to tools for integrating Western systems with Ukraine's currently in use, primarily Soviet-era, equipment.
News of the package comes exactly a week after the US' last announcement of a package of $300 million, which according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, included heavy artillery and ammunition, anti-tank weaponry, and other field equipment.
"Pursuant to a delegation of authority from President Biden, I am authorizing our 37th drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine valued at $300 million," Blinken said in a statement.
According to the statement, the assistance package also includes extra ammunition for howitzers, artillery, and tank systems, as well as trucks and trailers for the transportation of heavy machinery.
The first package this year was a $3 billion package in military aid to Ukraine, which included Bradley military vehicles, self-propelled howitzer artillery guns, MRAPS vehicles, Sea Sparrow missiles, and ammo, among other military materials and equipment.
In February, the Pentagon announced a $460 million package to Ukraine which included "more ammunition for US-provided HIMARS and Howitzers that Ukraine is using to defend their country as well as more Javelins, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars" per a Pentagon statement at the time.
In December 2022, researchers of the Foreign Policy Research Institute argued that "ammunition availability might be the single most important factor that determines the course of the war in 2023, and that will depend on foreign stockpiles and production."
Seth Jones of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) assessed that the munition stockpiles that the US has been export-funneling to Ukraine have steadily decreased since the outbreak of the war.
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