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US Boosts Ukraine’s Military with $200m Aid Package

US Boosts Ukraine’s Military with $200m Aid Package

US Boosts Ukraine’s Military with $200m Aid Package

US Boosts Ukraine’s Military with $200m Aid Package

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  • US pledges $200 million military aid for Ukraine, including air defense and rockets.
  • Funding was excluded from the recent bill, raising questions about US commitment.
  • NATO meeting in Brussels addresses Russian energy infrastructure concerns.
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The United States has announced a new $200 million military assistance package for Ukraine, which includes air defense systems and rocket ammunition.

This announcement was made by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during a two-day meeting of international supporters in support of Kyiv at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.

This assistance package is the first of its kind since Congress excluded new funding for Ukraine from a bill designed to prevent a government shutdown earlier this month.

The decision to withhold funding, which faced resistance from Republicans, raised concerns about the US commitment to aiding Ukraine in its efforts against Russian forces.

Lloyd Austin reiterated on Wednesday that the United States remains dedicated to supporting Ukraine for as long as necessary.

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In the absence of further action by Congress, the Biden administration retains the authority to provide more than $5 billion worth of military equipment from existing stocks.

However, the Department of Defense only has $1.6 billion in remaining funding to replenish donated weapons and equipment.

During the meeting, both Austin and Air Force General Charles Q Brown are expected to assure allies, including Kyiv, that the US can continue to support Ukraine while also backing Israel in its conflict with Hamas.

To date, the United States has already supplied Ukraine with $44 billion in military assistance since Russia’s invasion, including tanks, rockets, and millions of rounds of ammunition.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also attended the Brussels meeting, where he urged allies to provide more weaponry ahead of the winter season.

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“We are preparing, we are ready,” Zelenskyy said in advance of a meeting of defence ministers. “Now, we need some support from the leaders.”

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin is once again leveraging the winter season as a strategic tool of conflict by focusing on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

“We need to prevent that. With more advanced and increased capabilities for air defense, we can make a big difference,” Stoltenberg said.

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Since July, Ukraine has been engaged in a counteroffensive aimed at reclaiming territory in the southern and eastern regions of the country.

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However, their efforts have been hindered by Russian fortifications and landmines, preventing any significant progress.

Participants are also anticipated to address various security-related matters in the two-day meeting held in Brussels.

These include discussing the recent damage inflicted on an undersea gas pipeline and a telecommunication cable connecting Finland and Estonia.

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