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US announces $250 million in military aid for Ukraine, exhausting last remaining funding

by Dmytro Basmat December 28, 2023 12:55 AM 2 min read
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference at the State Department on Dec. 20, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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The U.S. announced a $250 million military assistance package comprised of weapons and equipment for Ukraine, exhausting the last remaining funds the U.S. will provide until Congress approves the Biden administration’s funding package, the U.S. State Department announced on Dec. 27.

"This package provides up to $250 million of arms and equipment under previously directed drawdowns for Ukraine," said U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a statement. “Capabilities provided in today’s package include air defense munitions, other air defense system components, additional ammunition for high mobility artillery rocket systems, 155mm and 105mm artillery ammunition, anti-armor munitions, and over 15 million rounds of ammunition.”

The aid package unveiled on Wednesday operates under Presidential Drawdown Authority, providing weaponry directly from US supply stocks. The United States has already exhausted the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative enabling the Defense Department to engage arms manufacturers in acquiring weapons for Kyiv.

For months, President Joe Biden has been urging lawmakers to pass a supplemental aid package to provide $61.4 billion in aid for Ukraine military funding, as part of a combined $105 billion Israel-Ukraine aid package.

Support over the aid package has turned into a political battle as many Republican lawmakers refuse to support additional funding for Ukraine, tying opposition to the bill with demands to strengthen migration border policy at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Senate leaders attempted to come to an agreement on the aid funding ahead of their year-end holiday recess - even delaying their scheduled break - but have yet to come to terms on a deal. The Senate is expected to hold a vote on additional aid funding in early 2024.

It is unclear if any deal reached by the Senate will be supported by the Republican-controlled House, where a significant number of lawmakers oppose additional funding to Ukraine.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, the U.S. has provided Ukraine with $46.2 billion in military assistance.

Ukraine war latest: Military says Russia trying to bypass Avdiivka, avoid fighting within city
Key updates on Dec. 27: * Military: Russia trying to bypass Avdiivka, avoid fighting within city * Economy minister warns of delays to salaries, pensions if Western aid stops * Defense Ministry approves first body armor for female soldiers * Official: Russia’s full-scale invasion has killed ove…
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