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Supporters of Ukraine celebrate after House of Representatives passed bills, including aid to Ukraine and Israel, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, United States on April 20, 2024. (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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The U.S. will provide Ukraine with a $1 billion military aid package, the U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on April 26 before the beginning of the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting, also known as Ramstein format.

"I am pleased to share that the United States will provide, through the Presidential Drawdown Authority, another $1 billion worth of assistance, including more ammunition for HIMARS, 155 mm ammunition, air defense interceptors, and armored vehicles," Austin said.

"These are all testaments to our shared commitment to Ukraine's success on the battlefield," he added.

The Pentagon announced on April 24 that it is ready to move forward with sending $1 billion of weapons from U.S. stockpiles to Kyiv now that President Joe Biden has signed a $95 billion aid package that includes more aid for Ukraine.

This is the first defense package Ukraine will receive under the signed aid bill. The most recent package prior to this latest round of aid was worth $300 million and was announced by Washington on March 12.

Austin said the parties will mainly focus on boosting Ukraine's air defense, among other issues.

The U.S. Defense Secretary stressed that Ukraine is "in dire need" of more air defense systems, as well as interceptors, artillery, and armor to defend itself against Russia's full-scale invasion.

"If Ukraine fell under Putin's boot, Europe would fall under Putin's shadow," Austin said, adding the U.S. remains determined to deter Russia from any further aggression, including against NATO states.

President Volodymyr Zelensky previously said that Ukraine planned to discuss at the summit how to overcome problems that accumulated over the past six months while waiting for the passing of the U.S. aid package.

Russia has taken advantage of Ukraine's growing battlefield ammunition shortages, taking the city of Avdiivka in February. Russian troops also continue to intensify attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure this spring, leaving Ukrainian citizens and businesses without a stable power supply.

In March, Russian strikes reportedly damaged or completely destroyed 80% of the thermal generating capacity of DTEK, Ukraine's largest private energy company.

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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