Joe Biden to Announce $800 Million in Security Assistance to Ukraine
According to a White House official, US President Joe Biden will announce $800 million in fresh security assistance to Ukraine on Wednesday, shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the US Congress.
The announcement, which is scheduled at 11:45 a.m. (1545 GMT), would bring “the total (help) declared in the last week alone to $1 billion,” according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity late Tuesday.
In a virtual address to Congress on Wednesday, Zelensky is expected to resume his calls for further aid, as some US senators prod the White House to take a stronger stance on Russia’s invasion.
On Saturday, Biden approved $200 million in extra military weapons for Ukraine. This came on top of Washington’s authorization of $350 million for military weapons on February 26 — the largest such package in US history at the time.
The White House official did not elaborate on the $800 million in security assistance that will be disclosed on Wednesday.
However, over 600 Stinger missiles and around 2,600 Javelin anti-armor systems have been delivered to Ukraine in the last year, along with a variety of radar systems, helicopters, grenade launchers, firearms, ammo, and other equipment, according to the official.
The official stated, “The United States remains by far the largest single supplier of security assistance to Ukraine.”
Zelensky’s cries for assistance in defending his country from Russia’s lethal onslaught have grown increasingly frantic, and he has begged Washington, the European Union, and NATO to provide military hardware, including planes, as well as a no-fly zone.
The no-fly zone has been ruled out by Biden, who warns that it would lead to a devastating catastrophe with nuclear-armed Russia.
However, there is rising support on both sides of the aisle in Congress for a more robust US approach.
Zelensky’s speech to members of Congress on Wednesday will be his second this month, but it will most likely be before a considerably larger audience than his March 5 appearance, during which he appealed for Russian-made jets to be handed to his air force.