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US to announce $2.3 billion military aid package to Ukraine 'soon'

by Kateryna Denisova July 2, 2024 5:58 PM 2 min read
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) 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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Washington is preparing to announce "soon" a military aid package for Ukraine worth more than $2.3 billion, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on July 2, Voice of America (VOA) reported.

Austin made the announcement during a meeting with Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov in Washington.

The Pentagon chief said that the package will include air defense missiles, anti-tank weapons "and other critical munitions from U.S. stockpiles," VOA reported.

According to late June reports, the U.S. was preparing to announce new assistance for Kyiv worth about $150 million. The new package could include HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) rockets, anti-armor weaponry, small arms and grenades, as well as 155 mm and 105 mm artillery shells, as well as HAWK air defense interceptors, several media outlets reported, citing their unnamed sources.

President Volodymyr Zelensky tasked Umerov to "receive specific dates for the delivery of additional Patriot systems" that Ukraine has agreed on with its partners, he said in his evening address on July 2.

Washington announced in June it had deprioritized the near-term planned deliveries of foreign military sales to other countries, particularly Patriot and NASAMS missiles, to supply them to Ukraine first.

In April, the U.S. Senate passed a long-awaited aid package, which included $61 billion in military aid to Ukraine.

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 $225 million aid packages.

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.

Ukraine expects strengthened air defenses in July, Zelensky says
“We thoroughly discussed all the plans for July in detail – this month can bring Ukraine even more strength, in particular in protecting the sky and bringing real security to our country,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said on July 1.

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