US to announce $3 billion in new military aid to Ukraine

WASHINGTON, Aug 23 (Reuters) – The United States will announce a new security assistance package for Ukraine worth about $3 billion as early as Wednesday, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, in what would be the biggest slice in Kyiv since the Russian invasion six. months ago.

The package is being prepared to coincide with Ukraine’s Independence Day on Wednesday.

The package uses funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) allocated by Congress to allow the Biden administration to procure weapons from industry rather than taking weapons from existing US weapons stockpiles. .

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the new weapons did not appear to include types of weapons that had not previously been supplied to the Ukrainian military. But the official said he would focus on ammunition and more medium-term goals like defense systems.

Under the USAI, weapons could take months to arrive in Europe as companies have to source them.

The official said the quantity and combination of weapons may change before the official announcement.

Since the invasion of Russian troops on February 24 in what Russian President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation” to demilitarize Ukraine, the conflict has turned into a war of attrition waged mainly in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Washington has provided $10.6 billion in military aid to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government since February 24. Read more

Germany plans to deliver other weapons, including air defense systems, rocket launchers and precision munitions, to Ukraine for more than 500 million euros ($500 million) in 2023, it said. a source told Reuters.

Moscow is trying to take control of the largely Russian-speaking Donbass region, made up of the provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk, where pro-Moscow separatists seized territory after the Kremlin annexed Crimea from the south in 2014.

Ukraine accuses Moscow of an imperial-style war to retake a pro-Western neighbor that threw off Russian rule when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991.

In Ukraine, an ominous sense of calm before the storm grew on Tuesday as the US Embassy told its citizens to leave Ukraine for fear of possible Russian missile strikes as the country celebrates on Wednesday its 31 years of independence. Read more

Kyiv has warned Moscow of a powerful response if it launches such strikes.

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Reporting by Idrees Ali; additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Mike Stone and Steve Holland; edited by Grant McCool, Leslie Adler and David Gregorio

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Idrees Ali

Thomson Reuters

National Security Correspondent focusing on the Pentagon in Washington DC Reports on US military activity and operations around the world and the impact they are having. Reported from over two dozen countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and much of the Middle East, Asia and Europe. From Karachi, Pakistan.

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