HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesUS preparing new weapons package for Ukraine, officials say

US preparing new weapons package for Ukraine, officials say

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The United States is preparing a new military aid package for Ukraine that could be worth as much as $400 million, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Tuesday, the first such move in months as additional funds for Kyiv remain blocked by Republican leaders in Congress.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said an announcement was expected later on Tuesday.

One of the officials said that the funding for this package is from credits refunded to the Pentagon for recent purchases.

The U.S. Army, in particular, has been making huge purchases of munitions and vehicles to replenish stocks sent to Ukraine.

The last drawdown was in December 2023 when funds to replenish stocks fell to zero.

Using the funds that have been returned to replenish stocks opens a narrow window to urgently allow more aid to be sent from existing stocks as the Biden administration waits for supplemental funding to be passed by lawmakers. U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has backed military aid to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, while his likely Republican opponent in the Nov. 5 U.S. election, former president Donald Trump, has a more isolationist stance. The House is under pressure to pass a $95 billion national security package that bolsters aid for Ukraine, Israel as well as the Indo-Pacific.

That legislation cleared the Senate on a 70-29 vote, but Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has resisted putting up the aid bill for a vote in the House.

Leaders of U.S. intelligence agencies urgently pressed members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday to approve additional military assistance for Ukraine, saying it would not only boost Kyiv as it fights Russia but discourage Chinese aggression.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday that the situation along the front of the country’s war with Russia was the best it had been in three months, with Moscow’s troops no longer advancing after their capture last month of the eastern city of Avdiivka.

Zelenskiy, in an interview with France’s BFM television, said Ukraine had improved its strategic position despite shortages of weaponry, but suggested the situation could change again if new supplies were not forthcoming.

Russia’s capture of Avdiivka gave the Kremlin’s forces breathing room in defending the Russian-held regional centre of Donetsk, 20 kilometres (12 miles) to the east.

(Reporting by Mike Stone, Idrees Ali and Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)

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