The Pentagon has unveiled a new aid package amid Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to Kiev
Washington has announced yet another military aid package for Ukraine worth some $100 million, after the Pentagon warned earlier this month that it was running critically low on funds allocated for Kiev and will be forced to begin reducing the tranches.
The latest package, announced on Monday, will include one High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) with additional ammunition, as well as Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and an unknown number of 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds. On top of that, the US military will supply Kiev’s forces with cold weather gear, TOW missiles and small arms ammunition.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin paid an unannounced visit to Kiev on Monday, during which he had held talks with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and once again promised “the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine.”
Russian officials called Austin’s visit a “mission of moral support,” while Moscow’s ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said that the newly-announced “deadly gift” is designed to convince Ukrainian offficials that “they are still in the game and masters count on them.”
“The message about another American arms supply to the regime is nothing more but a sedative pill prepared by overseas ‘benefactors’ for Zelensky. The situation on the front and in the Ukrainian state institutions is on the verge of complete collapse,” Antonov noted.
Ukraine is completely reliant on US aid for the functioning of both its military and civil society, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted on Monday, claiming that military aid to Ukraine was a “critical priority” for US national security.
However, the Pentagon has already spent most of more than $60 billion allocated funding for Kiev, with only around $1 billion dollars left. “We have had to meter out our support for Ukraine,” Department of Defense deputy spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters earlier this month, adding that, although the Pentagon will continue sending military aid packages, they are “getting smaller.”
Both the Pentagon and the White House urged Congress to pass a new spending bill on Ukrainian aid so supplies can continue, but no such legislation has been adopted so far.
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