22nd September 2023 – (Washington) In a bid to bolster Ukraine’s defence capabilities, U.S. President Joe Biden revealed a new military aid package worth $325 million during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington. The announcement comes at a crucial time as the U.S. Congress grapples with finding a compromise to prevent a federal government shutdown.
The aid package, unveiled by President Biden, encompasses various components aimed at enhancing Ukraine’s military defences. The U.S. Department of Defence, in a press release, disclosed that the package includes counter-airstrike systems, dual-purpose improved conventional munitions, and anti-tank weapons, among other provisions. However, it does not include the longer-range ATACMS missiles, which Kyiv had sought and can strike targets up to 300 km away.
During his visit, President Zelensky engaged in discussions with President Biden, U.S. Congress members, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to address Ukraine’s need for additional aid. U.S. media outlets reported that these meetings aimed to secure further assistance for Ukraine’s defence capabilities.
It is important to note that the newly announced military aid package is separate from the additional $24 billion that President Biden is urging Congress to approve for Ukraine. However, objections from some Republican representatives who intend to reduce aid pose a potential hurdle to the approval process.
According to U.S. government figures, the cumulative military aid provided to Ukraine since February 2022 has amounted to $43.9 billion. The significance of aid to Ukraine has become a focal point in the ongoing deadlock within Congress regarding the budget for the upcoming financial year. This deadlock raises concerns about a possible federal government shutdown if a resolution is not reached before 30th September.