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Friday, June 14, 2024

Biden adminstration to announce $750 million more in weapons for Ukraine

President Joe Biden's administration is likely to announce another $750 million in military aid to Ukraine for its fight against Russian forces as early as Wednesday. The latest pledge does not include any reference to fighter jets that Zelenskyy has called for during the ongoing Russian attacks.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to announce as soon as Wednesday another $750 million in military assistance for Ukraine for its fight against Russian forces.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Idrees Ali; Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Mike Stone; Editing by Mary Milliken and Howard Goller

Two U.S. officials said the aid package could be worth $750 million. The package is likely to include new capabilities, such as unmanned surface vehicles — sometimes called sea drones or drone ships — and Mi-17 helicopters, according to a U.S. official and a senior defense official.

The package is still being finalized, and some equipment could be included in a later package of weaponry, a U.S. official said.

A former U.S. official described the aid shipment as “a package that’s built around the idea of larger-scale combat” and said sending short-range anti-ship missiles is under serious consideration.

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The aid package would come as the war shifts to a new phase, with Russia’s brutal massacres of civilians, appointment of a new general to oversee the conflict and intensified focus on the Donbas.

“We want Russia to lose,” a senior administration official said.

The U.S. has already delivered $2.4 billion in military assistance since Biden took office, though the vast majority of that aid has come since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

On Tuesday, Biden seemed to tell a crowd in Iowa that Russia’s actions in Ukraine amount to “genocide,” even though the administration has yet to make a formal determination.

His comments followed allegations from Ukrainian forces that Russia dropped a chemical substance in Mariupol. Those claims have yet to be verified, but if true it would be the first time such weapons were used in the war.

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Biden last month vowed to respond “in kind” to such an attack, with U.S. officials considering new arms shipments to Ukraine as a retaliation.

The White House also said Washington is “helping the Ukrainians acquire additional, longer-range” air-defence systems, but did not provide further details.

The most recent package brings the total US security aid to Ukraine announced since the Russian invasion began to $1bn. The Biden administration previously approved another $1bn in aid before the invasion began.

 

Reuters with additional input by GVS