US to offer Ukraine new Patriot missiles as a part of $6 billion help package deal | EUROtoday

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday introduced the United States will present key air protection munitions and artillery rounds to Ukraine as a part of a $6 billion army help package deal that’s its largest ever for Kyiv.

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The package deal is the second this week, following one other valued at $1 billion that was introduced simply after US President Joe Biden signed a much-delayed invoice to supply new funding for Ukraine because it struggles to carry again Russian advances.

“This is the largest security assistance package that we’ve committed to date,” Austin instructed journalists following the conclusion of a digital assembly of dozens of Kyiv’s worldwide supporters.

“They need air defense interceptors, they need artillery systems and munitions. They need… armored vehicles, they need maintenance and sustainment. So all of those kinds of things are included” within the package deal,” he said.

Ukraine has in recent months pleaded for more air defenses from its Western allies as it struggles to fend off a surge in deadly attacks on civilian infrastructure, and the new package includes interceptors for both Patriot and NASAMS air defense systems.

But unlike the $1 billion package announced Wednesday, which featured items that will be drawn from US stocks, the latest assistance will be procured from the defense industry, meaning it will take longer to arrive on the battlefield.

Speaking at the opening of the virtual meeting, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said the US delay in approving new assistance has been costly for Kyiv.

“While we had been ready for a call on the American assist, the Russian military managed to grab the initiative on the battlefield,” Zelensky said.

‘Retake the initiative’

“We can nonetheless not solely stabilize the entrance, but in addition transfer ahead, attaining our Ukrainian objectives within the warfare,” he said, while noting that “Ukrainian defenders want your ample and well timed assist.”

A senior US defense official said this week that “Ukrainian forces have been rationing their ammunition for fairly a while, rationing their capabilities.”

Aid from the United States and other countries “will allow the Ukrainians to start to retake the initiative,” but “this is not going to be a speedy course of,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

“The Ukrainians might want to rebuild fairly a bit to tackle board all of those new provides… and be certain that they’ll defend their positions. So I might not forecast any large-scale offensive within the near-term,” the official added.

Read extraMilitary help for Ukraine: Who is giving what, and the way a lot will it assist?

The United States has been a key army backer of Ukraine, committing tens of billions of {dollars} in safety help since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

But previous to this week, Washington had introduced new help for Ukraine on only one different event this 12 months, a $300 million package deal in March that was solely made doable by utilizing cash that the Pentagon had saved on different purchases.

A squabbling Congress had not accredited large-scale funding for Kyiv for practically a 12 months and a half, however ultimately took motion beginning final week after months of acrimonious debate amongst lawmakers over how and even whether or not to assist Ukraine defend itself.

The US House of Representatives on April 20 accredited laws authorizing $95 billion in help funding, together with $61 billion for Ukraine, whereas the Senate handed the measure on Tuesday and Biden signed it into regulation the next day.