US announces $1.2 billion security assistance package to Ukraine ahead of counteroffensive
The United States has announced a $1.2 billion security assistance package to Ukraine on Tuesday, ahead of Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian forces. The package includes 155 mm artillery rounds, additional air defense systems, munitions, drone ammunition, and equipment to help Ukraine integrate Western air defense launchers, missiles, and radars with their existing systems.
Various senior Ukrainian officials expressed their gratitude to the US for the latest round of defense aid. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted, “We appreciate this sign of solidarity with 🇺🇦 shown on a symbolic day for us – Europe Day and the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II. Together we're moving towards a new victory!”
Ukraine’s defense chief Oleksii Reznikov also welcomed the news, calling the new aid "a new package of security assistance."
The package will fall under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and will be contracted and purchased from manufacturers, instead of being pulled directly from Defense Department stocks in a drawdown. USAI packages are intended to create a medium- and long-term supply for Ukraine.
The US marks $37.6 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration, including $36.9 billion since the beginning of the war in February 2022. Even after the Ukrainian counteroffensive begins, the US will continue to send military aid to Ukraine, according to a US military official, both to sustain Ukraine’s military force against dug-in Russian troops and to provide new equipment.
CNN reported on Monday that the announcement of the new package was expected, and the Associated Press first reported the package details. The announcement of the security assistance package comes at a time when Ukraine is preparing for a counteroffensive against Russian forces. The US has been providing military aid to Ukraine to help them combat Russian aggression, and this new package will help strengthen their military capabilities.