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Biden announces $150 million security package to Ukraine

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CNN

President Joe Biden on Friday announced additional security assistance to Ukraine in the form of “additional artillery munitions, radar and other equipment.”

The latest package is for $150 million worth of equipment, including 25,000 155mm artillery shells, counter-artillery radars, jamming equipment, field equipment and spare parts, an official said. of the White House.

The new security assistance package follows the president’s $33 billion proposal last week to Congress to support Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion. The United States has made clear its intention to provide long-term support to Ukraine and has already provided the nation with billions of dollars in military and humanitarian assistance. The package proposed last week was more than double the $13.6 billion injection of military and humanitarian aid approved by Congress last month.

In a statement, Biden said the administration had nearly exhausted funds that could be used for security assurance and called on Congress to approve his request for additional funds for Ukraine.

“With today’s announcement, my administration has nearly exhausted the funds that can be used to send security assistance through the withdrawal authorities for Ukraine,” the statement said. “For Ukraine to succeed in this next phase of the war, its international partners, including the United States, must continue to demonstrate our unity and our determination to continue to bring arms and ammunition to Ukraine, without interruption.”

“Congress should quickly provide the requested funding to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table,” Biden added.

Biden is expected to speak virtually with other G7 leaders on Sunday ahead of planned “Victory Day” celebrations in Russia, which take place annually on May 9. Victory Day is an important holiday on the Russian calendar that marks the Nazi surrender in World War II and is usually celebrated with a huge parade of troops and weapons in Red Square in front of the Kremlin.

Reuters was the first to report on the upcoming assistance package.

The president said the $33 billion package would provide more artillery, armored vehicles, anti-armour systems and anti-aircraft capabilities to the Ukrainian military, as well as humanitarian aid, including food , water, medicine and shelter to Ukrainians displaced by war. The package includes more than $20 billion for military and security assistance.

The United States remains in close coordination with its European allies. The president said last week that the United States was working with other countries – including Korea, Japan and Qatar – to support European allies threatened by Russia’s suspension of their natural gas supplies.

The president also offered to build the capacity of US law enforcement to seize assets linked to Russian kleptocracy. The aim is to put more pressure on the Russian oligarchs and use the money from their seized assets, including superyachts, to finance the defense of Ukraine.

The increase in US military assistance comes as Russia refocuses its campaign to seize new territory in the eastern region of the country. The president recently said that Russia’s war has entered a “critical window”, making Western military aid all the more essential.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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