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Defense Secretary Austin pledges an additional $2.3 billion in military assistance to Ukraine | WGN Radio 720

United States to Provide $2.3 Billion in Security Assistance for Ukraine

The United States to Provide $2.3 Billion in Security Assistance to Ukraine

In response to pleas from Ukraine for help in battling Russian forces, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Tuesday that the U.S. will soon provide an additional $2.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. This assistance will include anti-tank weapons, interceptors, and munitions for air defense systems.

The announcement came as Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov met with Austin at the Pentagon, underscoring the strong support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression in the Donetsk region. Of the total aid, $150 million will come from presidential drawdown authority, allowing for a quicker transfer of weapons from U.S. stocks to Ukraine, while the rest will be provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.

During the meeting, Austin reassured Umerov that Ukraine is not alone and that the U.S. stands firmly behind its ally. He emphasized that alongside 50 allies and partners, the U.S. will continue to provide critical capabilities to push back Russian aggression today and deter it in the future.

The timing of the announcement, just days before the NATO summit in Washington, highlights the ongoing support for Ukraine’s aspirations to join the alliance. Austin expressed the U.S.’ commitment to help build a bridge to NATO membership for Ukraine, a sentiment echoed by Umerov who hopes for Ukraine’s invitation to join soon.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent plea for more Western weapons to counter Russian attacks was also addressed during the meeting. Austin did not specifically mention relaxing restrictions on the use of such weapons, but he assured Umerov that they would discuss additional ways to meet Ukraine’s immediate security needs and deter further Russian aggression.

With this latest $2.3 billion commitment, the U.S. has now pledged over $53.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in 2022. The ongoing support underscores the strong bond between the U.S. and Ukraine in their shared resolve to defend against external threats.

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