America Writes Another $320M Check for Ukraine
The United States has announced yet another drawdown of military aid to Ukraine, marking the 36th time this Presidential Drawdown Authority has been used to supply Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. The announcement came on the same day Ukraine’s defense minister said his country has just received U.S-made Patriot surface-to-air guided missile systems it has long craved.
The latest assistance package is derived from existing stocks of U.S. weapons and will be pulled from Pentagon stocks to expedite delivery to the front lines. The package includes ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, precision aerial bombs, TOW guided missile systems, AT-4 anti-armor weapons systems, anti-tank mines and demolition munitions. It also includes demolition munitions to clear routes, more than nine million rounds of small arms ammunition, four logistics support vehicles, spare parts, and equipment for harbor security and maintenance and repair.
This latest aid package comes on the heels of a $2.6 billion military aid package announced by the White House earlier this month. That aid package included $2.1 billion to bolster air defense and anti-armor systems and $500 million for ammunition.
Friday’s meeting in Germany of defense and military leaders from more than 50 countries to discuss and plan for future Ukraine security assistance is a testament to the global importance of this issue. The Ukraine Contact Group was formed about a year ago by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to better coordinate the military aid, weapons and training for Ukraine which continues to pour in from around the world but remains principally driven by Pentagon supplies. Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, will both attend the meeting, highlighting the importance of this issue.
Ukraine has been a strategic partner of the United States in the region since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The U.S. has provided Ukraine with various forms of assistance, including economic and military aid, to support its development and independence. The U.S. and Ukraine share democratic values and a commitment to the rule of law, and the U.S. has supported Ukraine’s efforts to reform its political and economic systems.
Russia, on the other hand, has been a geopolitical rival of the United States for decades. Tensions between the U.S. and Russia have been high in recent years, particularly after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its intervention in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. The U.S. and its allies have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine, and there have been ongoing diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions between the two countries.