Joe Biden | Photo: AP
Washington: President Joe Biden announced Friday a new US weapons package worth $150 million for Ukraine's fight to repel Russia's invasion.
"I am announcing another package of security assistance that will provide additional artillery munitions, radars, and other equipment to Ukraine," Biden said, while warning that funding was close to running out and urging Congress to authorize more.
According to a senior US official, the package includes 25,000 155mm artillery rounds, counter-artillery radars used for detecting the source of enemy fire, electronic jamming equipment and spare parts.
The artillery munitions appear to be meant for recently supplied US howitzers.
Friday's new batch brings the total value of US weaponry sent by the Biden administration to Ukraine -- including heavy artillery, shoulder-held Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and drones -- to $3.8 billion since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Friday's package means the remaining $250 million available from previously authorized funding for Ukraine will have all but run out. Biden is pressing Congress to authorize a huge $33 billion Ukraine package, which would include $20 billion in military assistance, and last for five months.
Biden and the rest of the G7 leaders, plus Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, are meeting virtually on Sunday to discuss Western support for the country in its struggle against President Vladimir Putin's invasion.
"The United States has provided a historic amount of security assistance to Ukraine at rapid speed. We are sending the weapons and equipment that Congress has authorized directly to the front lines of freedom in Ukraine," Biden said in a statement.
However, Biden said current funding was "nearly exhausted" and that "for Ukraine to succeed," the United States and its allies must "keep the weapons and ammunition flowing to Ukraine, without interruption."
"Congress should quickly provide the requested funding to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table," he said.