Biden announces up to $150 million Ukraine military aid package as fears of Russian escalation grow


U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on arming Ukraine, after touring a Lockheed Martin weapons factory in Troy, Alabama, May 3, 2022.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

WASHINGTON The Biden administration announced a new weapons package for Ukraine worth $150 million, as the war-weary country enters its 11th week of conflict with Russia.

The Pentagon said the next tranche of weapons will include 25,000 155mm artillery rounds, three AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars and electronic jamming equipment.

The latest military aid package, the ninth security assistance installment, brings the U.S. military aid commitment to $3.8 billion since Moscow invaded its neighbor in late February.

The $150 million pledged on Friday comes from the remaining $250 million in presidential drawdown authority, which allows the president to transfer excess weapons from U.S. arsenals without congressional approval.

Last month, Biden requested $33 billion from Congress after he exhausted his remaining drawdown authority. He reiterated his request on Friday by saying that for Ukraine to succeed against Russia, the U.S. and its allies must continue to flow weapons and ammunition into the country.

“Congress should quickly provide the requested funding to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table,” Biden said in a statement announcing the additional funding.

The last military aid package of $800 million before Friday, announced on April 21, included 72 howitzers, 144,000 artillery rounds and more than 121 rapidly-developed “Ghost” tactical drones.

Read more: Ghost drones, helicopters and howitzers: Here’s a look at the weapons the U.S. is sending Ukraine

Since Moscow invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the Biden administration has deployed more than 100,000 U.S. troops to NATO-member countries.

The NATO alliance has also placed more than 140 warships and 130 aircraft on heightened alert. In addition, the 30-member-strong group has consistently warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that an attack on one NATO member state will be viewed as an attack on all, triggering the group’s cornerstone Article 5.

Ukraine, which has sought NATO membership since 2002, is bordered by four NATO allies: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

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