US prepares new $1bn Ukraine arms package – SABC News

The Biden administration’s next security aid package for Ukraine is expected to be $1 billion, one of the largest yet, and include ammunition for long-range weapons and armored ambulances, three sources briefed on the matter told Reuters on Friday.

The package is expected to be announced as early as Monday and would add to about $8.8 billion in aid the United States has provided to Ukraine since the February 24 invasion by Russia.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said President Joe Biden had not yet signed off on the next weapons package.

They warned that arms packages can change in value and content before they are signed.

However, if signed in its current form, it would be valued at $1 billion and include HIMARS missiles, NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems and up to 50 M113 armored personnel carriers.

The new package follows the Pentagon’s recent decision to allow Ukrainians to receive medical treatment at a US military hospital in Germany near Ramstein Air Base.

Last Monday, the Pentagon announced a special security assistance package for Ukraine worth up to $550 million, including additional munitions for the High Mobility Artillery System (HIMARS).

The White House declined to comment on the package.

The new package would be funded under the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), under which the president can authorize the withdrawal of goods and services from US stocks without congressional approval in response to emergencies.

HIMARS play a key role in the artillery duel between Ukraine and Russia has been described as “grinding” with very little movement on the front line in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

Since Russian troops poured across the border in February in what Putin called a “special military operation,” the conflict has degenerated into a war of attrition fought primarily in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Moscow is trying to regain control of the largely Russian-speaking Donbas, which comprises Luhansk and Donetsk regions, where pro-Moscow separatists seized territory after the Kremlin annexed Crimea in the south in 2014.

So far, the United States has deployed 16 HIMARS to Ukraine and on July 1 pledged to deploy two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS).

It was unclear whether the NASAMS munitions, jointly developed by Raytheon Technologies Corp and Norway’s Kongsberg, are already in Ukraine if the munitions were for munitions donated by another country or if they were being pre-installed.

The US previously sent 200 M113 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.

Armored troops equipped with medical equipment could make the fight against Russia more vital for Ukrainian soldiers who could then be sent to Germany for further medical treatment.

The Kyiv government said in June that 100 to 200 Ukrainian soldiers were being killed a day.

US prepares new $1bn Ukraine arms package – SABC News

Source link US prepares new $1bn Ukraine arms package – SABC News

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