The deal, announced by the White House on Thursday, includes more long-range rocket systems and patrol boats to protect Ukraine’s coastal border.
John Kirby, the US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, said the move comes “as part of our commitment to help Ukraine defend its democracy in the face of unprovoked Russian aggression.”
In addition to four new High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and patrol boats, the package includes tens of thousands of ammunition rounds, weapons and tactical vehicles.
Kirby added that the move, which is the 13th such package signed by President Joe Biden, brings the United States’ security assistance to Ukraine to more than USD 6 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
“The United States will continue to bolster Ukraine’s defenses and support its sovereignty and its territorial integrity,” Kirby said. “The bravery and determination of the Ukrainian armed forces, let alone their fellow citizens, continues to inspire the world, and we are committed to standing with them as they fight for their freedom.”
Earlier on Thursday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted that the first group of HIMARS trucks had arrived in his country.
Ukraine says it needs the long-range rocket launcher systems to better match the range of Russian artillery being used to strike Ukrainian positions in the eastern Donbas region, which Kremlin claims on behalf of separatists and where fighting has recently intensified, the Reuters news agency reported.
According to Reuters, Washington said it had received assurances from Kyiv that the long-range weapons would not be used to attack Russian territory.
Source: PAP, Reuters