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Ukraine aid: Joe Biden announces new military package at short notice

Ukraine aid: Joe Biden announces new military package at short notice

The aid package for Ukraine was preceded by a long dispute between Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress. In the end there was approval – and now Joe Biden can’t go fast enough.

After Congress approved new aid to Ukraine, US President Joe Biden announced an immediate new military package for the country attacked by Russia. “In the next few hours” we will begin sending anti-aircraft equipment, artillery, missile systems and armored vehicles to Ukraine, Biden said in a speech at the White House on Wednesday. This is not just an investment in the security of Ukraine, but also in the security of Europe.

The new package, worth around $1 billion, includes urgently needed artillery shells of various calibers and missiles for anti-aircraft systems, according to a summary published by the US Department of Defense. In addition, Ukraine will receive additional Bradley infantry fighting vehicles alongside other vehicles. It remained unclear whether the listed ammunition for the Himars multiple rocket launchers would also include long-range ATACMS rockets with a range of around 300 kilometers. According to the information, the package comes from US military stocks.

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05:08 minutes

Biden: America stands with Ukrainian friends

After months of domestic political impasse, the US Congress, with the approval of the Senate, approved billions in aid for Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia, late on Tuesday evening (local time) – thereby clearing the way for new arms deliveries. The law provides aid worth around $61 billion (€57 billion) for Kiev. The US government had long and vehemently demanded that Parliament release the funds.

Previous US aid to Ukraine had expired. Since the end of last year, new support from the USA has been largely absent. Kiev is urgently dependent on the help. “America stands with our friends. We stand against dictators,” Biden said in his speech. The USA would not give in to Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. Biden warned that Russia could attack a NATO partner as the next step. “We would have no choice but to come to their aid, just as our NATO allies came to our aid after the September 11 attacks.”

Agreement on ATACMS is said to have been reached

The law with billions in aid approved by Congress and signed by Biden provides, among other things, funds for increasing the number of weapons and ammunition in the US military’s inventory. This money therefore only goes indirectly to Ukraine, since the USA usually equips the country attacked by Russia with equipment from its own stocks – which is often quicker than ordering new ones from industry.

The rest of the aid package is earmarked for further military support and financial assistance, some in the form of loans. The text also calls for the delivery of long-range ATACMS missile systems. So far, the USA has delivered ATACMS with a range of around 165 kilometers. However, Ukraine wants systems with a range of 300 kilometers.

Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky spoke on the phone on Monday. Zelenskyj then said that details on the delivery of new long-range ATACMS missiles had been “finalized”. However, Zelenskyj did not yet provide any information about which ATACMS model the USA wanted to deliver.

The USA is considered Ukraine’s most important supporter. Since the war began in February 2022, Biden’s administration has provided more than $44 billion in military aid to Kyiv. There are also billions more in non-military financial aid.

Also aid for Israel and Taiwan in the law

The law, which came into force when Biden signed it on Wednesday, contains, in addition to aid for Ukraine, a good $26 billion in support for Israel, including around $9 billion for humanitarian aid – including for the people in the Gaza Strip. Military aid to Israel is intended, for example, to finance Israel’s missile defense and ongoing US military operations in the region. The package also includes around $8 billion in support for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region.

The vote in the House of Representatives was preceded by a months-long blockade. A power struggle raged in the Republican-dominated chamber over the Ukraine aid. Chairman Mike Johnson was under great pressure from the right-wing fringe of his party and prevented the vote for a long time. The hardliners threatened him with a vote of no confidence. They vehemently reject further US aid to Ukraine, arguing that taxpayers’ money should be spent first and foremost on protecting their own border and not on protecting other countries.

This post has been updated.

Source: Stern

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