U.S. to send $450 million in security aid to Ukraine in latest package

By Steve Holland and Idrees Ali

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -America will present a further $450 million in safety help to Ukraine, together with extra long-range rocket methods, U.S. officers stated on Thursday.

Moscow’s forces are advancing in Ukraine’s east in a bid to seize the commercial heartland generally known as the Donbas, the place Ukraine fears a few of its troops could possibly be encircled in a Russian pincer transfer.

In a press release, the Pentagon stated the bundle could be valued at as much as $450 million and embody 4 further Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket Techniques (HIMARS), 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats and 1000’s of rounds of ammunition.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, President Joe Biden’s administration has supplied $6.1 billion in safety help to Ukraine.

John Kirby, Nationwide Safety Council coordinator for strategic communications, stated Washington was intently working with Kyiv to determine which sorts of weapons might finest fulfill their wants in every bundle.

“The rationale we do it like that is so we will maintain it related to what’s taking place on the battlefield,” Kirby advised reporters at a White Home briefing.

Earlier on Thursday, Ukraine stated it had acquired the primary tranche of HIMARS, a strong long-range weapon system that Kyiv hopes can assist flip the tide within the months-long battle.

The newest bundle comes after Biden final week introduced an infusion of $1 billion in weapons for Ukraine that features anti-ship rocket methods, artillery rockets, howitzers and ammunition.

The battle has entered a brutal attritional part in current weeks, with Russian forces concentrating overwhelming artillery firepower on the Donbas, which Moscow claims on behalf of separatists.

Ukraine says it wants the HIMARS methods to higher match the vary of Russian rocket methods that it says are being extensively used to pummel Ukrainian positions in Donbas.

Washington has stated it has acquired assurances from Kyiv that these longer-range weapons wouldn’t be used to assault Russian territory, fearing an escalation of the battle.

U.S. officers have stated that whereas HIMARS are vital for Ukrainian forces, no single weapon system alone can change the battle.

Moscow has warned it’s going to strike targets in Ukraine which they “haven’t but been hitting” if the West provides longer-range missiles to Ukraine to be used in high-precision cellular rocket methods.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Idrees Ali; Modifying by Mark Porter, Deepa Babington and Daniel Wallis)

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