Biden announces a new military aid package to Ukraine as concerns about Russian escalation grow

Biden announces a new military aid package to Ukraine as concerns about Russian escalation grow

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on arming Ukraine, after touring a Lockheed Martin weapons factory in Troy, Alabama, May 3, 2022.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

WASHINGTON President Joe Biden announced Friday that he will sign a new weapons package for Ukraine, as the war-weary country enters its 11th week of conflict with Russia.

“I am announcing another package of security assistance that will provide additional artillery munitions, radars, and other equipment to Ukraine. The United States has provided a historic amount of security assistance to Ukraine at rapid speed,” Biden wrote in a statement, without specifying a dollar amount.

Biden’s latest military aid package is the ninth U.S. security assistance installment since Moscow invaded its neighbor in late February. The funding comes from the remaining $250 million in presidential drawdown authority, which allows the president to transfer excess weapons from U.S. arsenals without congressional approval.

Last month, Biden requested $33 billion from Congress after he exhausted his remaining drawdown authority. He reiterated his request on Friday by saying that for Ukraine to succeed against Russia, the U.S. and its allies must continue to flow weapons and ammunition into the country.

“Congress should quickly provide the requested funding to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table,” Biden added.

In the last two security packages, Biden committed howitzers, as well as anti-aircraft Stinger systems, anti-armor Javelin missiles, additional ammunition and rapidly-developed “Ghost” drones.

Read more: Ghost drones, helicopters and howitzers: Here’s a look at the weapons the U.S. is sending Ukraine

Since Moscow invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the Biden administration has deployed more than 100,000 U.S. troops to NATO-member countries.

The NATO alliance has also placed more than 140 warships and 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.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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