President Joe Biden has given DOD authorization for a drawdown of up to $450 million to meet Ukraine’s critical arms needs in the face of the Russian invasion.
This is the 13th presidential drawdown of DOD stocks since August 2021. Russia attacked Ukraine Feb. 24. “The United States has now committed approximately $6.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration, including approximately $6.1 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked invasion on February 24,” Acting Pentagon Press Secretary Todd Breasseale said.
The package includes four high-mobility artillery rocket systems, 36,000 rounds of 105 mm ammunition, 18 tactical vehicles to tow 155 mm artillery, 1,200 grenade launchers, 2,000 machine guns, 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats, spare parts and other equipment.
Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $8.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.
“As President [Joe] Biden told President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy when they spoke last week, the United States will continue to bolster Ukraine’s defenses and support its sovereignty, its territorial integrity,” National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said at the White House today. “The bravery and determination of the Ukrainian armed forces, let alone their fellow citizens, continues to inspire the world and we are committed to standing with them as they fight for their freedom.”
Kirby also previewed the NATO Summit in Madrid next week where President Biden will join fellow alliance heads of state and government. “Leaders will announce new force posture commitments to strengthen NATO’s defense and deterrent posture,” Kirby said. “The U.S. will announce steps to strengthen European security alongside expected major new contributions from allies.”
He noted that for the first time, the summit will include Indo-Pacific leaders from Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea. This makes clear “that whether it’s in Europe or the Indo-Pacific region, the United States and our allies and partners will defend the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Biden’s trip to Europe hammers home the unity that Europe is experiencing in the face of Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to shake the NATO alliance with his unprovoked war. “Instead of a shaken West, we are more resolved than ever to support Ukraine and are leading that effort head on at both the G7 and the NATO Summit,” he said.