US announces new multi-billion weapons package for Ukraine

Washington DC - The US government announced a new $2 billion aid package for Ukraine on Friday, the anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion, while condemning the Kremlin for creating "the most urgent danger to European security since the end of World War II."

The US has announced a new $2 billion aid package for Ukraine, including additional ammunition for the HIMARS multiple rocket launcher.
The US has announced a new $2 billion aid package for Ukraine, including additional ammunition for the HIMARS multiple rocket launcher.  © REUTERS

This includes additional ammunition for the HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, drones of the Switchblade type and equipment for mine clearance, the Pentagon said.

Washington is considered to be Ukraine's most important ally when it comes to military support.

"Under President [Joe] Biden's leadership, the United States has committed more than $32 billion in game-changing security assistance to Ukraine over the past year," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

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F-16 fighter jets requested by Ukraine were not in the new package, however. After months of debate about modern tanks, which are now on their way to Ukraine, Kyiv's international allies are now debating whether to supply fighter jets.

"In response to the most urgent danger to European security since the end of World War II, we have moved swiftly with our allies to further unify and strengthen NATO," Austin said. "Putin's reckless, illegal war is not just an all-out assault on Ukraine's sovereignty and a historic threat to European security."

He acknowledged that "difficult times may lie ahead," but urged remaining "clear-eyed about what is at stake in Ukraine."

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US was expecting to provide "about $10 billion in additional economic assistance for Ukraine" over the coming months.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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