Biden administration announces new $300M military aid package to Ukraine

John Kirby
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci/AP

Biden administration announces new $300M military aid package to Ukraine

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The Biden administration announced a new military aid package to Ukraine on Wednesday.

The aid, which will be the 39th drawdown of equipment from the Department of Defense stockpiles, will include additional munitions for the Patriot air defense system, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, artillery, and anti-armor systems, National Security Council coordinator John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday.

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The aid is valued at $300 million.

“[This aid] includes key capabilities to support Ukraine’s air defenders as they bravely protect Ukraine’s soldiers, civilians, and critical infrastructure amid Russia’s continuing air strikes killing civilians across Ukraine,” a DOD readout said. “This security assistance package also contains artillery, anti-armor capabilities, and ammunition, including tens of millions of rounds of small arms ammunition, valued at up to $300 million to help Ukraine continue to defend its sovereign territory.”

President Joe Biden has allocated more than $37 billion of military aid since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, according to a department fact sheet on aid to Ukraine.

The aid comes at a tense moment for Moscow, which has come under attack a couple times in May, distressing Kremlin officials. Earlier this week, the Russian Ministry of Defense said eight drones were launched at Russia’s capital, which damaged two buildings.

“Kyiv chose the path of intimidation of Russian citizens and attacks on residential buildings,” Russian leader Vladimir Putin said. “We are concerned about attempts to evoke a response from Russia. It seems that is what they [Ukraine wants] … Kyiv provokes us to mirror actions. We will see what to do about this.”

The United States has publicly and privately told Ukraine its weapons should not be used to strike targets within Russia’s borders because it’s afraid of escalating the war.

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U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly disagreed with the U.S. stance, saying, “It’s important to remember that Ukraine does have the legitimate right to defend itself. It has a legitimate right to do so within its own borders, of course, but it does also have the right to project force beyond its borders to undermine Russia’s ability to project force into Ukraine itself.”

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a senior member of the Kremlin Security Council, claimed that U.K. politicians are legitimate military targets following Cleverly’s remarks.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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