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US prepares new Ukraine weapons package worth $1 billion



Last week, the Pentagon announced a separate security aid package for Ukraine.


The Biden administration’s next security aid package for Ukraine is expected to be $1 billion, one of the largest ever, and includes warfighting for long-range weapons and armored medical transport vehicles, according to information on the matter. Three sources who gave it told Reuters on Friday.

The package is expected to be announced early Monday and will add about $8.8 billion in aid the United States has given Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on February 24.

Officials said on condition of anonymity that President Joe Biden has yet to sign the next arms package. He cautioned that weapons packages may 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, the NASAMS surface-to-air missile system ammunition and 50 M113 armored medical transports.

The new package follows a recent Pentagon decision to allow Ukrainians to receive medical treatment at a US military hospital in Germany near Ramstein airport.

Last Monday, the Pentagon announced a separate security aid package for Ukraine worth up to $550 million, which includes additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

The White House declined to comment on the package.

The new package will be funded under the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), in which the president can authorize the transfer of articles and services from US stocks without the approval of Congress in response to an emergency.

HIMARS play an important role in the artillery fighting between Ukraine and Russia, described as a “grinding” with very little movement of the front line in the eastern Donbass region of Ukraine.

Since Russian troops put up the border in February in what Putin called a “special military operation”, the conflict has settled into a war of words fought mainly in the east and south of Ukraine.

Moscow is trying to gain control of the largely Russian-speaking Donbass, which includes Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, where pro-Moscow separatists seized territory after the Kremlin annexed Crimea to the south in 2014.

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

It was unclear whether the NASAMS launchers, jointly built by Raytheon Technologies Corp and Norway’s Kongsberg, are already in Ukraine, if the wars were for launchers donated by another country, or if they were already being produced. was.

The United States previously committed Ukraine to 200 M113 armored personnel carriers.

Armored personnel carriers equipped with medical equipment could make the battle with Russia more survivable for Ukraine’s soldiers who could then be sent to Germany for further medical treatment.

The Kyiv government said in June that between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers were being killed every day.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)