U.S. approves $138M emergency military sale of HAWK missile systems support to Ukraine

U.S. approves $138M emergency military sale of HAWK missile systems support to Ukraine

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., walk to a closed-door meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in December. On Tuesday, the State Department approved an emergency military sale to Ukraine as additional U.S. funding for the ally remains stalled by Republicans in the House of Representatives. Photo by Julia Nikhinson/UPI | License Photo

April 9 (UPI) — The U.S. State Department has approved Ukraine’s emergency request to buy spare parts and repair services for its HAWK missile systems, as Kyiv continues to call on international partners for weapons as its arsenal empties amid its defense against Russia’s invasion.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken approved the emergency foreign military sale, worth some $138 million, the State Department said in a statement Tuesday.

“The secretary of state has determined and provided detailed justification that an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to the government of Ukraine of the above defense articles and services in the national security interests of the United States,” the statement said.

The money will pay for engineering and integration for communications, refurbishment and overhaul of the HWAK system, tool kits, equipment tests and support, as well as spare parts and training, the statement said.

“Ukraine has an urgent need to increase its capabilities to defend against Russian missile strikes and the aerial capabilities of Russian forces,” the State Department said. “Maintaining and sustaining the HAWK missile system will enhance Ukraine’s ability to defend its people and protect critical national infrastructure.”

The announcement comes as Republicans in the House have stonewalled President Joe Biden’s $60 billion supplemental funding package.

The president first unveiled the request for supplemental funding in August and the package has undergone revisions since. The Senate passed a revised foreign aid bill two months ago that includes billions not only for Ukraine but Israel and Taiwan.

However, House Speaker Mike Johnson has yet to bring it to the floor as some GOP lawmakers have questioned the continuous funding for Ukraine, especially as former President Donald Trump, their presumptive nominee for November’s presidential election, has shown resistance to giving Kyiv more money.

Meanwhile, Ukraine officials continue to call for help from Western partners, especially its largest backer, the United States.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has said that without U.S. funding, it will be difficult for them to stay in the fight, let alone win.

On Tuesday, he called for additional air defense systems and missiles as the city of Kharkiv is bombarded.

“The world has no right to remain indifferent while Russia deliberately destroys the city on a daily basis and murders people in their homes,” he said in a statement. “Ukraine needs greater air defense.”

U.S. Defense Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that they hope Congress passes the supplemental funding bill as soon as possible, because “Ukraine matters,” and the outcome of the war will have global implications for U.S. national security.

“They’re not asking for someone to fight the fight for them, they’re asking for the means to sustain their efforts,” he said.

“Without security assistance, they won’t be able to resupply the much-needed air defense intercepts and air defense systems that they need to protect their skies and protect their people, and so we will would see things begin to atrophy in a meaningful way in a short period of time.”  » …
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