Ukrainian servicemen taking part in the armed conflict with Russia-backed separatists in Donetsk region of the country attend the handover ceremony of military heavy weapons and equipment in Kiev on November 15, 2018.
Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – The United States will send another $ 800 million security package and an additional $ 500 million dollars in direct economic assistance to Ukraine as its military fights off a renewed Russian assault, President Joe Biden said Thursday.
“This package includes heavy artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers and 144,000 rounds of ammunition to go with those howitzers,” Biden said from the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
“This brings our total economic support for Ukraine to $ 1 billion in the past two months,” Biden said.
“With this latest disbursement, I’ve almost exhausted the draw-down authority I have that Congress authorized for Ukraine and a bipartisan spending bill last month,” Biden said, adding that he would send lawmakers a supplementary budget request next week.
The latest security package, which also includes tactical drones, comes as Western intelligence warns of an intensified Russian offensive in eastern and southern Ukraine following weeks of stalled ground advances on the capital city of Kyiv.
Biden said he discussed the new security package in-person with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal at the White House.
Biden’s remarks come on the heels of a Wednesday afternoon meeting with his military commanders and national security officials for assessments on global threats as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Ahead of the meeting, Biden said US security assistance is flowing into the region daily and that allies are “stepping up and amplifying the impact of our response.”
US President Joe Biden (L) meets with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Combatant Commanders in the White House Cabinet Room in Washington, DC on April 20, 2022.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
Last week, following a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Biden authorized a military assistance package worth $ 800 million.
Since Moscow invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the Biden administration has deployed more than 100,000 US troops to NATO member countries and authorized $ 2.6 billion in security assistance.
The US has provided a total of $ 3.2 billion to Ukraine since the beginning of Biden’s presidency, according to the White House.
What’s more, the NATO alliance has placed more than 140 warships as well as 130 aircraft on heightened alert. In addition, the 30-member strong group has consistently warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that an attack on one NATO member state will be viewed as an attack on all, triggering the group’s cornerstone Article 5.
Ukraine, which has sought NATO membership since 2002, is bordered by four NATO allies: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania
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