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Updated: US to announce $150 million military aid package to Ukraine, including air defense missiles, Reuters reports

by Dmytro Basmat June 25, 2024 4:37 AM  (Updated: ) 2 min read
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov during the 20th Ramstein-format meeting in Germany on March 19, 2024. (Rustem Umerov/Facebook)
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Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect additional details on weaponry included in the aid package.

The U.S. is preparing to announce a military aid package for Ukraine worth about $150 million, the Associated Press reported on June 24, citing two unnamed American officials.

The new package will include new HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) rockets, anti-armor weaponry, small arms and grenades, as well as 155 mm and 105 mm artillery shells, AP reported, citing its sources.

According to Reuters, sources familiar with the matter said that HAWK air defense interceptors will also be included in the aid package that is now expected to be unveiled on July 1.

On June 1, the U.S. gave Ukraine permission to use American-supplied weapons, including HIMARS rockets, to strike targets in Russia located near the border with Kharkiv Oblast, and over the past month, Ukraine's armed forces have used U.S.-supplied weapons to strike targets inside Russia.

Washington still prohibits Ukraine from using ATACMS and other long-range U.S.-supplied weapons for strikes deeper inside Russia, according to U.S. officials.

Earlier on June 24, Russia claimed Ukraine used American-provided weapons in a strike on occupied Crimea on June 23 that allegedly killed four people and injured 151. The reports could not be independently verified, and Ukraine has not commented on the news at this time.

U.S. officials speaking to the Associated Press could not verify whether ATACMS were included in the next tranche of support for Ukraine.

The new military package will come from Presidential Drawdown Authority, a mechanism that allows the president to deliver weaponry to allies from current U.S. stockpiles.

In April, the U.S. passed a long-awaited $61 billion aid package, with much of it covering military aid.

The Pentagon announced on April 26 that it was ready to move forward with sending $1 billion worth of weapons to Kyiv from U.S. stockpiles. The U.S. subsequently sent three other aid packages in the following months, authorizing a $400 million defense aid package, followed by $275 million, and a $225 million aid package in early June.

Over the winter months, Ukraine suffered a critical shortage of artillery shells, in large part due to delays in U.S. military aid. Russia has taken advantage of this, taking the city of Avdiivka in February.

Zelensky to sign EU-Ukraine security agreement in Brussels this week
President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the European Union summit in Brussels on June 27 and sign a security agreement with the EU, Polish media RMF reported, citing an unnamed senior EU diplomat.





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