US announces biggest yet military assistance to Ukraine

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the latest drawdown, saying it was an “awesome Christmas present for Ukraine”, reports Asian Lite News

US President Joe Biden’s administration has announced more than $3.75 billion in new military assistance to Ukraine, Washington’s largest drawdown yet for the war-torn nation, the State Department said.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Department said the new assistance includes a $2.85 billion drawdown from stocks of the Department of Defense to be provided immediately to Ukraine and $225 million in Foreign Military Financing to build the long-term capacity and support modernization of the country’s military.

It also includes $682 million in Foreign Military Financing for European partners and allies to help incentivize and backfill donations of military equipment to Ukraine, the statement said.

This is the 29th drawdown of US arms and equipment for Ukraine since August 2021.

“This $2.85 billion drawdown will provide Ukraine with Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, artillery systems, armored personnel carriers, surface to air missiles, ammunition, and other items to support Ukraine as it bravely defends its people, its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken was quoted as saying in the statement.

He further said the administration would work with Congress to “to provide an additional $907 million of Foreign Military Financing under the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022”.

“Funds will support Ukraine and countries impacted by Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

US President Joe Biden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

The Secretary of State went on the say that “Russia alone could end this war today. Until it does so, this year, as in prior years, and for as long as it takes, we stand united with Ukraine”.

Responding to the announcement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the latest drawdown, saying it was an “awesome Christmas present for Ukraine”.

In his nightly address to the nation, the President on Friday said: “After I visited the US two weeks ago, over 20 stages in our diplomatic marathon took place. Today a new package of US defence aid for our country was announced, a powerful one!

“We’ll get Bradley vehicles — it’s exactly what’s needed. New guns, rounds, in particular, high-precision ones. New missiles. New drones. It’s timely, strong. We see results of our talks.”

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