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Biden announces nearly USD 3 bn in military aid for Ukraine

Six months after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, United States President Joe Biden announced the US provision of nearly USD 3 bn to Kyiv for weapons and equipment – the “biggest tranche of security assistance to date”.

President Biden said on Wednesday that the US was providing Kyiv with nearly USD 3 bn for weapons and equipment in Washington’s “biggest tranche of security assistance to date”.

The approximately USD 2.98 bn in military aid “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 over the long term”, President Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

The package will fund contracts for a total of three types of drones and other weaponry, ammunition and equipment, the Associated Press was told by officials, who also stressed that the items may not see the battlefront for a year or two.

Money for drones included

The worth of the aid package provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative may be liable to change but not a drastic one.

Among the money earmarked for arms purchase, the package will include funds for the small, hand-launched Puma drones, the longer-endurance catapult-launched Scan Eagle surveillance drones, and, for the first time, the British Vampire drone system, which can be launched off ships.

Seeing the war in Ukraine drags on, US security assistance opted for a longer-term campaign that also will likely keep more American military troops in Europe into the future, US officials said.

Contrarily to previous packages, this funding is designed to help Ukraine secure its medium- to long-term defence posture, according to officials familiar with the matter cited by the Economic Times. To recall, earlier shipments, carried out under the Presidential Drawdown Authority, have focused on Ukraine’s more immediate needs for weapons and ammunition and involved ready-for-shipment material that the Pentagon already had in stock.

The purpose of the package announced on Wednesday is also to reassure Ukrainian officials that the US intends to keep up its support, regardless of the day-to-day back and forth of the conflict, the officials said.

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