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Media: US set to announce new military aid package for Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 12, 2024 5:24 PM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes only: Bullet casings sit in packets before loading into belts for use in machine guns at Ukroboronprom's Mayak PJSC manufacturing plant in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg via Getty Images) // UEW
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The U.S. may announce later on March 12 a military aid package for Ukraine worth as much as $400 million, Reuters reported, citing two unnamed American officials.

This would be the first package since last December, as U.S. funds for Kyiv have been blocked by disputes in Congress.

One of the sources told Reuters "that the funding for this package is from credits refunded to the Pentagon for recent purchases."

Politico reported, citing its sources, that the package should be worth $300 million and include cluster munitions-armed versions of ATACMS long-range missiles that can reach targets 160 kilometers (100 miles) away.

The U.S. provided a number of ATACMS missiles with a range of 160 kilometers last October. Newer variants, which can reach targets 300 kilometers (186 miles) away, have not been supplied to Ukraine.

The new tranche should also include 155 mm artillery shells and the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), Politico wrote.

U.S. aid to Ukraine has been delayed since autumn 2023, as various versions of a foreign aid bill have been derailed due to border security disagreements.

Most recently, a $95 billion aid package to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan passed in the Senate with bipartisan support, but House Speaker Mike Johnson has refused to bring it to a vote in the House of Representatives.

Johnson is reportedly allowing Republicans who support Ukrainian aid to work on an alternative bill, which is expected to be complete by late March or early April.

The delays led to Washington considering alternative ways of getting assistance to Ukraine, for example, by tapping into the U.S. Army's own funds.

Equipment and weapons shortages have led to recent Russian territorial advances, including the capturing of Avdiivka — a key city near occupied Donetsk — where heavy fighting took place for many months.

Bloomberg: Biden considers tapping into US Army funds for temporary Ukraine aid
Drawing on the Pentagon reserves would free up about $200 million in immediate military aid to Ukraine.
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