America’s Joe Biden hosted Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky at his residence in Washington on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Afterwards, the US president said the new tranche of security assistance was designed to strengthen Ukraine’s defences ahead of renewed Russian strikes on energy facilities and critical infrastructure in the winter.
It includes “more artillery, more ammunition, more anti-tank weapons,” Biden said.
He noted that the package features “a second HAWK air defense battery with steady deliveries of additional HAWK and other systems each month through the winter.”
Ukraine will also receive AIM-9M missiles for air defence, Avenger air defence systems, machine guns to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems and additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), among other capabilities, the Pentagon said.
The US president stressed the latest security assistance would “protect Ukraine’s grain silos, hospitals, schools, and power plants.”
Biden told reporters: “As the threat of famine still stalks families around the globe, Russia is bombing grain silos in Ukraine and separating families, kidnapping — this is what I can’t get over — kidnapping thousands of Ukrainian children. Instead, with the days beginning to turn colder, Russia hopes to once more use winter as a weapon against the people of Ukraine.”
The US president also announced that the promised Abrams tanks would reach Ukraine next week, the PAP news agency reported.
He said America would support Ukraine "for as long as it takes."
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Zelensky thanked Biden “for the new defence package for Ukraine — a very powerful package.”
He added that the latest tranche “has exactly what our soldiers need now.”
The two presidents also agreed “to work on the future force of Ukraine” and “on specific steps to expand exports of grain from Ukraine,” Zelensky told reporters at the White House.
Meanwhile, the planned bilateral meeting between the Ukrainian president and Polish head of state Andrzej Duda in New York didn’t eventually take place, according to Duda’s top foreign-policy aide Marcin Przydacz.
Earlier in the day, Lithuanian and Ukrainian media outlets reported that Duda, Zelensky and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda held three-way talks on Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency noted.
Friday is day 576 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.
Source: PAP, president.gov.ua, White House, defense.gov