Biden announces weapons worth $1 billion for Ukraine

Washington DC Updated: Jun 15, 2022, 11:14 PM(IST)

Joe Biden file photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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The president also announced an additional $225 million in humanitarian assistance to help people in Ukraine, including by supplying safe drinking water, critical medical supplies and healthcare, food, shelter, and cash for families to purchase essential items.

United States President Joe Biden announced a fresh infusion of $1 billion in weapons for Ukraine on Wednesday. Sources familiar with the package said it included anti-ship rocket systems, artillery rockets, and rounds for howitzers. In a phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Biden told the embattled leader about the new weaponry.

"I informed President Zelenskiy that the United States is providing another $1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, including additional artillery and coastal defence weapons, as well as ammunition for the artillery and advanced rocket systems," Biden said in a statement after the 41-minute call with Zelensky.

The president also announced an additional $225 million in humanitarian assistance to help people in Ukraine, including by supplying safe drinking water, critical medical supplies and healthcare, food, shelter, and cash for families to purchase essential items.

The aid packages, which come as U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is meeting with allies in Brussels, could be split into two categories: transfer of excess defence articles from U.S. stocks and other weapons being funded by the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), a separate congressionally authorised program.

Three sources familiar with the details, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that one package of about $350 billion was expected to include more rockets for Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) that had been sent to Ukraine and artillery rounds for M777 howitzers and spare parts. 

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A second package, anticipated to amount to more than $650 million and funded using USAI, could include ground-based Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers, secure radios, night vision and training.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia on Wednesday accused Western countries of "fighting a proxy war with Russia," telling reporters: "I would like to say to the Western countries supplying weaponry to Ukraine – the blood of civilians is on your hands."

Ukraine is pressing the United States and other Western nations for speedy deliveries of weapons in the face of increased pressure from Russian forces in the eastern Donbas region.

In May, the Biden administration announced a plan to give Ukraine M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems after receiving assurances from Kyiv that it would not use them to hit targets inside Russian territory. Biden imposed the condition to try to avoid escalating the Ukraine war. 

(with inputs from agencies)
 

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