President Joe Biden announced a new $1 billion injection of US arms for Ukraine on Wednesday, including anti-ship missile systems, artillery rockets, howitzers, and ammunition.

Biden claimed he alerted Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy about the additional weapons during a phone conversation.

“The United States is providing another $1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, including additional artillery and coastal defense weapons, as well as ammunition for the artillery and advanced rocket systems,” Biden said in a statement after the 41-minute talk.

The president also announced an extra $225 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including clean drinking water, necessary medical supplies and services, food, housing, and cash for families to buy needed necessities.

According to the Pentagon, the newest arms supplies for Ukraine contain 18 howitzers, 36,000 rounds of ammunition, two Harpoon coastal defense systems, artillery rockets, secure radios, hundreds of night vision equipment, and training funds.

In Kyiv, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he had spoken with Secretary of State Antony Blinken to express gratitude for the US’s “crucial military assistance”

“(I) emphasized that we urgently need more heavy weapons delivered more regularly,” he stated on Twitter.

The aid packages, which arrive as US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meets with allies in Brussels, are divided into two categories: transfers of excess defense articles from US stockpiles and other weapons funded by the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), a separate congressionally authorized program.

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused Western nations of “fighting a proxy war with Russia,” on Wednesday, telling reporters, “I would like to say to the Western countries supplying weaponry to Ukraine – the blood of civilians is on your hands.”

In the face of heightened pressure from Russian soldiers in the eastern Donbas area, Ukraine is asking the United States and other Western countries for faster delivery of arms.

“We need all these weapons to be concentrated in a moment to defeat the Russians, not just keep coming every two or three weeks.” Ukrainian Parliament member Oleksandra Ustinova told reporters at a German Marshall Fund event.

In May, the Biden administration unveiled a proposal to provide Ukraine with M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems in exchange for guarantees from Kiev that they would not be used to strike targets within Russian territory. Biden enforced the stipulation in order to prevent further escalation of the Ukraine conflict. more info

According to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the rocket artillery in this aid package would have the same range as previous US rocket shipments and is funded using Presidential Drawdown Authority, or PDA, under which the president can authorize the transfer of articles and services from US stocks without congressional approval in response to an emergency.

For the first time, the US is deploying Harpoon launchers from the ground. According to Reuters, the US was working on possible options such as taking a launcher off a US ship to enable Ukraine give Harpoon missile launch capabilities. more info

According to analysts and industry officials, Boeing Co (BA.N) harpoons cost about $1.5 million per missile.

Source: Reuters


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