Biden approves nearly $3 billion in security assistance

Ukrainian troopers stand on their tank on the entrance line in the Donetsk area on August 19, 2022, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Anatolii Stepanov | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration introduced roughly $3 billion in security assistance for Ukraine on Wednesday, Washington’s largest package deal since Russia’s full-scale invasion started six months in the past.

The announcement of the upcoming army assist package deal, the nineteenth such installment, comes as Ukraine celebrates 31 years of its independence from the Soviet Union.

“The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty,” Biden mentioned in an announcement, acknowledging Ukraine’s Independence Day. He added that that roughly $2.98 billion “will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself.”

The newest security assistance package deal is not like presidential drawdown authorities which authorize the supply of weapons immediately from U.S. arsenals.

Wednesday’s package deal of nearly $3 billion is permitted via the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, or USAI, which makes use of funds appropriated by Congress. The USAI funds America’s protection business to scale up arms manufacturing.

“This announcement represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional priority capabilities to Ukraine in the mid-and long-term to ensure Ukraine can continue to defend itself as an independent, sovereign and prosperous state,” wrote Pentagon press secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder in an announcement.

The package deal consists of six extra National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS, in addition to munitions for these techniques, 24 counter-artillery radars, 245,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition, 65,000 rounds of 120 mm mortar ammunition, laser-guided rocket techniques, help gear for the Scan Eagle drone in addition to Puma drones.

New to this security package deal is the Vampire drone. It was not instantly clear what number of the Pentagon would offer.

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl informed reporters on the Pentagon that USAI packages can sometimes take months or years to ship relying on the protection contracting course of.

“This package of capabilities is really aimed at getting Ukraine what they’re going to need in the medium to long term so it’s not relevant to the fight today, tomorrow or next week,” defined Kahl.

“It is relevant to the ability of Ukraine to defend itself and deter further aggression a year from now or two years from now,” he added.

Earlier this month, Biden introduced a presidential drawdown authority of $9.8 billion for Ukraine, the most important weapons installment to return immediately from U.S. stockpiles. So far, the U.S. has dedicated greater than $13.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021.

Kahl mentioned that the U.S. is way from ceasing its monetary help for Ukraine.

“This package will certainly not be our last,” Kahl added.

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