Biden announces new security assistance to Ukraine

April 22, 2022

Biden announces new security assistance to Ukraine

President Joe Biden said Thursday (April 21, 2022) the U.S. will send an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine as Russia’s war enters what he called a “critical window”.

The Defense Department said the package includes 72 155mm howitzers, 144,000 artillery rounds, 72 tactical vehicles to tow the howitzers, and 121 unmanned aerial vehicle systems, known as “Phoenix Ghost” drones.

The package also includes a new drone made specifically for Ukraine. A senior Defense Department official said that the Air Force and AEVEX Aerospace, a firm that has done business with U.S. Special Operations Command, rapidly developed the weapon.

“Putin is banking on us losing interest,” Biden said. The Russian president is betting that “Western unity will crack, and once again we are going to prove him wrong.”

Biden sought to make clear to Russians that plenty more military assistance for Ukraine would be coming.

Economic assistance

There’s also a fresh $500 million economic assistance to Ukraine to government salaries, pensions and other programs. That raises the total U.S. economic support to $1 billion since Russia’s invasion began nearly two months ago.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude but said his nation needs even more – up to $7 billion each month to make up for economic losses in addition to weapons and money for the continuing war.

The President further said he would ask Congress to pass a supplemental bill to provide more funding for Ukraine when lawmakers return to Washington next week.

Biden’s new humanitarian parole program

 Mr. Biden also announced a new humanitarian parole program for Ukrainians with U.S. ties that would allow them to enter the U.S. directly through an “expedient channel,” rather than through the southern border.

Thousands of Ukrainians have been flying to Mexico to seek asylum at the border since the U.S. requires visas for entry,

The treasury secretary has been meeting this week with the heads of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, as well as her counterparts in G-7 and G-20 countries, in the first gatherings of these officials since the war in Ukraine began. The need for more aid has been the main focus of the discussion.

During a meeting with top military officials at the White House on Wednesday, Mr. Biden praised their “exceptional” work in equipping and arming Ukrainian fighters as they defend their nation from the Russian Invasion.

This would be the last presidential drawdown until Congress approves more money for weapons to Ukraine. In a presidential drawdown, the Defense Department pulls weapons and equipment from U.S. inventories to send to Ukraine instead of purchasing new weapons from manufacturers.

Speaking about the importance of getting aid to Ukraine, Biden paraphrased a famous quote from former President Theodore Roosevelt, telling reporters: “Sometimes we will speak softly and carry a large Javelin because we’re sending a lot of those in as well.”

He was referring to an anti-tank missile the U.S. has approved by the Ukrainian military.

Biden said the U.S. force posture has to be “dynamic” as the strategic environment abroad is “evolving rapidly.”

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