What's Included in Biden's New $250 Million Military Package for Ukraine

What’s Included in Biden’s New $250 Million Military Package for Ukraine

The Biden administration has announced a new $250 million military aid package to Ukraine while a request for a much larger package remains held up in Congress.

The Department of Defense (DoD) said in a press release on Wednesday that the aid, made possible through previously approved presidential drawdown authority, would help to “meet Ukraine’s critical security and defense needs.”

DoD said that the package features an unspecified number of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Tube-Launched Optically-Tracked Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles and “air defense system components.”

Over 15 million rounds of small arms ammunition are also included, alongside munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) ammunition and 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds.

Additionally, DoD said that the package contains Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems and “spare parts, medical equipment, maintenance, and other ancillary equipment.”

A Ukrainian soldier is pictured loading boxes of U.S.-made Stinger missiles onto a truck in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 13, 2022. The administration of President Joe Biden, pictured in the inset image, announced on Monday a new $250 million military aid package to Ukraine as its war with Russia nears the two-year mark.
Newsweek reached out for comment to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs via email on Wednesday.

The package was announced while the fate of President Joe Biden’s request for $60 billion in additional funding for Ukraine hangs in the balance over mounting Republican resistance to aid and attempts to tie any funding to unrelated GOP U.S.-Mexico border policy demands.

In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the DoD’s latest offering “the year’s final package of weapons and equipment for Ukraine” before urging Congress to approve the larger package to support Ukraine and “national security interests.”

“Our assistance has been critical to supporting our Ukrainian partners as they defend their country and their freedom against Russia’s aggression,” said Blinken. “It is imperative that Congress act swiftly, as soon as possible, to advance our national security interests by helping Ukraine defend itself and secure its future.”

Major General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said during a briefing last week that the passage of the larger package was critical to Ukraine’s battlefield success, arguing that “it is imperative that we have the funds needed to ensure that they get the most urgent battlefield capabilities that they require.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington, D.C., earlier this month, which included a meeting with U.S. senators who have been reluctant to approve more aid, seemingly did little to improve Kyiv’s chances of securing the larger aid package.

Zelensky has expressed optimism that a breakthrough will be coming soon regardless of the setback, telling reporters last week that he was “confident that the United States will not betray us.”

Ukraine also recently failed to obtain a European Union (EU) aid package worth €50 billion, or approximately $55 billion USD, due to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán vetoing the proposal at a summit in Brussels earlier this month.

However, Orbán, an ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin, signaled last week that he may allow the EU to go through if Hungary is exempted from participating. Other EU heads of state have indicated that they expect the package to be approved early next year, regardless of potential opposition from Orbán.

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