Biden Admin Announces $6 Billion in New Security Funding for Ukraine

The Biden administration is unveiling $6 billion in new security assistance for Ukraine as the embattled nation attempts to fend off Russia’s invasion.

The new assistance package, announced on April 26, uses funds from the $61 billion Ukraine supplemental passed by Congress earlier in the week, and “includes equipment to augment Ukraine’s air defenses, fires, and artillery, and to sustain capabilities,” according to a statement from the Pentagon.

Most security assistance delivered by the United States to Ukraine has thus far been made using presidential drawdown authorities, in which the president authorizes a dollar amount worth of weapons to be transferred to Ukraine directly from U.S. stockpiles.

The new package is different, however, and is provided for in the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), an authority now funded by this week’s supplemental, and organized by the 50-nation Ukraine Defense Contact Group.

USAI is an authority through which the United States will procure military capabilities from American industry or partners. The Pentagon’s announcement therefore also signals the beginning of a new contracting process to procure more weapons from Ukraine.

“This USAI package highlights the strong and unwavering U.S. commitment to meet Ukraine’s most pressing immediate and longer-term capability needs to fight Russian aggression as part of the global coalition we have built with some 50 Allies and partners,” the Pentagon statement said.

The $6 billion package includes Patriot missiles, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), counter-drone equipment, radar technology, 155mm artillery rounds, small arms ammunition, tactical vehicles, and several other highly valuable systems.

The Biden administration has committed more than $50 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, according to an associated fact sheet distributed by the Pentagon. That amount does not include the unspent $55 billion remaining in the Ukraine supplemental passed this week.

U.S. assistance has thus far included the delivery of more than 3 million 155mm artillery rounds, 31 Abrams battle tanks, more than a thousand armored and light tactical vehicles, several dozen boats, and 10,000 Javelin anti-armor systems, to name just a few.

Beginning in March of this year, the Biden administration also covertly shipped long-range missiles to Ukraine after receiving assurances from Kyiv that the eastern European nation would not use them to attack Russia’s sovereign territory.

The Biden administration has framed increased foreign military assistance as a means of stimulating the U.S. economy, leading to accusations of war profiteering from lawmakers and policy analysts.

Officials within the Department have also acknowledged that the nation’s continued deliveries of key systems to Ukraine have had some negative impacts on the United States’ own military readiness.

“We have the ability to move funds out of our stocks, but without the ability to replenish them, we are putting our own readiness at some risk,” one official said during a press call in March.

The ongoing war in Ukraine has been in a state of near stalemate since early last summer, with both sides struggling to gain much ground.

There have been only a few notable exceptions to the bloody standoff, including the Ukrainian liberation of Robotyne last August, and the Russian conquest of Avdiivka in February.

Impasse aside, neither Kyiv nor Moscow has suggested a real willingness to engage in good-faith negotiations to end the war.

In January, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he was open to a peace deal only if it included Russia ceding all of its occupied territory, including Crimea, and submitting to an international tribunal for war crimes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, has reiterated his commitment to the original objectives of the campaign, including the total demilitarization of Ukraine and its acceptance of a permanent state of neutrality in international affairs.

It is unclear to what extent Ukraine will be able to leverage the new weapons deliveries, and whether the systems will lead to breakthroughs on the front lines or only prevent further Russian advances. Kyiv has faced numerous equipment and manpower shortages over the winter, as well as problems associated with Russian strikes on food and energy infrastructure.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier this week that the nation will prioritize targeting Ukrainian storage depots housing arms and equipment supplied by the United States and its allies.

From The Epoch Times

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