US to Announce New Defense Security Assistance for Ukraine

The United States government is set to release additional security assistance to Ukraine. 

According to a readout released by the US Defense Department, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III has spoken with the Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov to discuss the former’s enduring support for Ukraine’s capacity to defend itself.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Reznikov thanked Austin and shared his assessment of the situation on the ground. 

“Secretary Austin highlighted our ongoing efforts to deliver security assistance to Ukraine; our commitment to meet Ukraine’s most urgent needs and evolving battlefield requirements; and our coordination efforts with Allies and partners,” Kirby added. 

Both Austin and Reznikov pledged to remain in close contact.

The US Defense Department didn’t mention any details on the security assistance but unnamed senior officials were quoted in several reports by CNN and NBC that this will amount to $700 million. 

President Joe Biden is anticipated to authorize the fresh aid package for Ukraine using his drawdown authority, according to CNN. 

According to a US official and a senior defense official, the package will likely include additional capabilities such as unmanned surface vehicles (also known as sea drones or drone ships) and Mi-17 helicopters, NBC said in a separate report. 

The package is still being finalized, according to a US official, and some equipment may be included in a later weapons package.

If authorized, the additional $700 million in security support would bring total aid to Ukraine to more than $3 billion since the Biden administration began, including over $2.5 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine.

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