23 Nov 2022 20:01

Biden orders Blinken to direct military aid worth $400 mln to Ukraine

WASHINGTON. Nov 23 (Interfax) - U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to direct $400 million in military assistance to Ukraine, the White House said.

"To direct the drawdown of up to $400 million in defense articles and services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training, to provide assistance to Ukraine," Biden said in a memorandum to the secretary of state published on the White House's website.

Blinken, for his part, said the next package of military assistance will include, in particular, air defense systems.

"This $400 million drawdown includes additional arms, munitions, and air defense equipment from U.S. Department of Defense inventories," Blinken was quoted as saying in the Department of State statement.

Blinken said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier promised to provide assistance in an amount of some $60 million to Ukraine to strengthen its air defense, and Sweden had announced similar measures in an amount of some $300 million.

Later, the Pentagon said in a statement that the package of military aid valued at $400 million the U.S. is delivering to Ukraine will include, in particular, munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

The U.S. will also supply Ukraine with 150 heavy machine guns with thermal imagery sights to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARM), 200 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds, 10,000 120mm mortar rounds, 150 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), over 100 light tactical vehicles, over 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition, over 200 generators, spare parts for 105mm howitzers, and other equipment.

Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $21.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, the statement says.