US to provide $300 million worth of weapons to Ukraine

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The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that it would send about $300 million worth of weapons to Ukraine to help the embattled country cope with ongoing fighting. against russia.

security package is Pentagon’s Ukraine admitted for the first time since December that it had run out of replenishment funds, was severely overdrawn and needed at least $10 billion to replenish all the weapons it had withdrawn from its stockpiles to help Kyiv.

People use wooden plywood to cover their blown-out windows after a Russian missile attack in Selidov, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, March 12, 2024. (Vladyslav Ukolov/Suspilne Ukraine/JSC “UA:PBC”/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

Asked on Tuesday how the U.S. was raising aid, Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said it was Department of Defense Negotiate contracts to replenish the U.S. weapons stockpile.

“As a result of these negotiations, we have fully appropriated budgets for these contracts. But as a result of these negotiations, these contracts are within budget. So we have a small amount of funding available,” Ryder said, acknowledging that the Department of Defense still does not have “supplemental funding. “.

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“We are able to use these cost savings to offset the small amount of new security assistance that is currently available without severely impacting military readiness because of the situation in Ukraine,” Ryder added. “Obviously, they are in an existential struggle. They are desperate. Help is needed. So this is one way we can urgently provide a small amount of assistance right now.”

He could not say when the aid would arrive in Ukraine, but predicted the weapons would remain in use “for a timeframe of weeks” – “well short of the levels they need to continue sustaining this fight.”

Ukrainian President Zelensky

Ukrainian President Zelensky raises his hands with Ukrainian flag in the background (Victor Kovalchuk/Global Photos Ukraine, Getty Images)

U.S. officials have warned for months that Ukraine is severely low on ammunition. But the House effort stalled amid Republican opposition to tying Ukraine aid to border security.

The supplemental funding allows the Pentagon to pull existing ammunition, air defense systems and other weapons from its reserve stockpile under the Presidential Drawdown Authorization (PDA), ship them to Ukraine, and then contract to replace those weapons, which are needed to maintain national security. . US military preparations.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson declined to bring a $95 billion package to the floor that would include aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly pleaded with Congress for help against Russia, which has vastly improved supplies, but House Republican leadership has been reluctant to bring Ukraine aid to a vote, saying any aid must first address U.S. border security needs.

The United States has committed more than $44.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the Biden administration took office, including more than $44.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24, 2022.

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Poland’s leader urged the United States in Washington on Tuesday to break an impasse over replenishing funds to Ukraine at a critical moment in the war. Polish President Andrzej Duda met with Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate and will meet with President Joe Biden later in the day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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By Ali Raza

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