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Biden to send another $550M in security assistance to Ukraine

The United States is greenlighting another military assistance package to Ukraine, sending $550 million in ammunition for advanced rocket systems and other equipment to the country to fight the Russian invasion.   

White House national security spokesman John Kirby previewed the new assistance package on Monday, saying that it would include ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, as well as ammunition for 155 mm artillery.  

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley informed their Ukrainian counterparts of the latest assistance package in a call earlier Monday, Kirby said.  

The Pentagon said in a statement that the package would include 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition.  

President Biden has authorized over $8 billion in security assistance for Ukraine over the course of 17 packages since he took office, a figure which includes the latest package, Kirby said. 

The administration has periodically released assistance to the Ukrainians as they fight the Russian invasion, which recently entered its sixth month. The last military assistance package — totaling $270 million — was announced on July 22 and included four more HIMARS.

The rocket systems allow Ukrainian forces to strike targets from longer distances, though U.S. officials have insisted that the Ukrainians have committed to not using the systems to strike targets in Russia.  

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Biden for offering Kyiv “robust support” and for recognizing Russia as a “threat to entire civilized world.”  

“New defense assistance package is bringing us closer to victory,” he tweeted.  

The U.S. has led allies in supplying assistance to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia. As the war drags on, there are questions about how long the U.S. and its allies can maintain unity on Ukraine.  

“The United States continues to stand with Allies and partners from more than 50 countries in providing vital security assistance to support Ukraine’s defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russia’s aggression,” Blinken said in a statement Monday afternoon. “Our commitment to the people of Ukraine will not waver. We stand united with Ukraine.” 

Ellen Mitchell contributed. 

Updated 3:47 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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