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Pentagon says military aid can arrive in Ukraine 'within days' once Biden signs bill

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 24, 2024 9:05 AM 2 min read
Pentagon Spokesperson Gen. Pat Ryder at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Oct. 31, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
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U.S. military assistance can arrive in Ukraine within days once President Joe Biden signs the aid bill into law, Pentagon spokesperson General Pat Ryder said on April 23.

After almost seven months of delays, the U.S. Congress passed an aid bill containing roughly $61 billion in assistance for Ukraine, with the Senate issuing the final vote on April 23. Following a phone call between the two leaders on April 22, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Biden would sign the bill "as soon as it is approved by the Senate."

Speaking ahead of the final vote in the Senate, Ryder did not provide specifics but said, "We would expect to be able to deliver aid within days."

"Thanks to organizations like the Security Assistance Group-Ukraine and plus our efforts with international allies and partners, we have created a very robust logistics network to enable the delivery of aid into Ukraine," Ryder said.

The new tranche of aid will stem from Biden's presidential drawdown authority (PDA), which takes military equipment from existing stockpiles, meaning that potential procurement-related delays will be limited.

Reuters reported on April 23, citing unnamed U.S. officials, that the U.S. was preparing a $1 billion military aid package for Ukraine to be issued once Biden signed the bill.

The $1 billion package will reportedly include vehicles, Stinger air defense munitions, TOW and Javelin anti-tank munitions, and additional ammunition for high-mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).

Sources told Reuters it would also contain 155-millimeter artillery shells and "other weapons that can immediately be put to use on the battlefield."

Some of the U.S. military aid for Kyiv is already reportedly in Germany and Poland, cutting down the time needed for the weapons and equipment to reach the front line.

Other pieces derived from the $61 billion package may take more time, as they may need to be sent from the U.S. or other locations. Some potential items of military aid will also need to be purchased or even manufactured, which will take even longer.

What Ukraine lost while waiting for the US aid bill to pass
The long-awaited passing of the U.S. aid bill in the House of Representatives over the weekend was swiftly followed by a collective sigh of relief in Ukraine and among the country’s allies. But frustration at the delays caused by political infighting in Congress has not completely subsided, as
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