Biden Announces $800M More in Aid to Ukraine

Biden Announces $800M More in Aid to Ukraine
President Joe BIden | Image by Reuters

Speaking on the final day of the recent NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, President Joe Biden announced at a news conference that the U.S. would be providing yet another military aid package to Ukraine, totaling $800 million of federal taxpayer money.

This latest round of aid brings the total amount of U.S. aid given to Ukraine since Russia invaded it on February 24 up to about $7 billion.

Unlike some previous ones, Biden stated that this package would be focused entirely on providing military aid to Ukraine, including advanced air defense and artillery systems.

“They need — we’re going to be providing another — well, I guess I’ll announce it shortly, but another … $800 million in aid for additional weaponry, including — you know, weapons, including air defense system, as well as offensive weapons. I have a whole list I’d be happy to give to you. But that’s the next tranche that’s going to occur,” said Biden.

The president stated that the new package would contain additional counter-battery radars, artillery shells, and other kinds of ammunition, including ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), a weapon system that the U.S. has recently delivered to Ukraine to help it in its war effort.

Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the M142 HIMARS is a mobile multiple rocket launch system mounted on the back of a truck. It has an effective firing range of up to 300 kilometers.

The U.S. has delivered four HIMARS systems to Ukraine, but Biden predicted in his remarks that other countries would also be sending additional HIMARS units to Ukraine.

When asked by reporters how far the U.S. is willing to go to support Ukraine, Biden said, “We are going to stick with Ukraine, and all of the alliance are going to stick with Ukraine, as long as it takes to make sure they are not defeated by … Russia.”

Biden’s announcement came on the same day as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK would also be providing a further £1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine.

In addition to reaching agreements on helping Ukraine militarily, the 30-country NATO bloc agreed during the summit to formulate a new strategic framework to counter what it describes as the “direct threat” posed by Russia.

Moreover, for the first time in its history, the alliance regarded China as a security threat and decided to make countering its “coercive policies” one of its primary objectives over the coming decade.

These announcements all come in the wake of Finland’s and Sweden’s decisions to join NATO, which would result in Russia sharing an 800-mile border with the bloc.

“He wanted the Finlandization of NATO. He got the NATO-ization of Finland,” Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin, referring to that border.

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