The administration of President Joe Biden will soon announce a $1.8 billion military aid package for Kiev, which will include a US official, a US official said. Patriot missile battery and precision-guided bombs for Ukrainian warplanes, amid reports that the president of the war-torn country, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, may visit Washington, DC.
US officials detailed the aid package on condition of anonymity on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
Media organizations, citing unnamed sources, also reported on Wednesday that Zelenskyy may travel to Washington, DC to meet Biden and visit the US Congress. A spokesman for Zelenskyy did not respond to a request for comment on the trip and security concerns that could force the Ukrainian leader to change his plans, a source told Reuters news agency.
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier on Tuesday said in a letter that there will be a session of Congress on Wednesday night that will have a “very special focus on democracy.” , further fueling speculation that the Ukrainian president would visit the US capital.
According to AP, the $1.8 billion aid package about to be announced by Biden signals the expansion of advanced weapons The United States is sending Ukraine to strengthen the country’s air defenses against increasing Russian missile attacks.
According to the AP, the package, which is expected to be announced Wednesday, will include about $1 billion in weapons from the Pentagon’s stockpiles and another $800 million in funding through Ukraine Security Assistance Initiativefunding weapons, ammunition, training and other support, officials said.
Biden Administration Decision send Patriot missile system came despite Russian threats that the delivery of such an advanced surface-to-air missile array would be seen as a provocative step and that the system – and any crew members accompanying it – would be a legitimate target of the Moscow army.
When the Patriots will reach the front lines in Ukraine is unknown, and US forces must also train the Ukrainians in how to use the high-tech system. That training can last several weeks and is expected to take place at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany.
All training of Ukrainian forces by the United States and its Western allies takes place in European countries.
The expected announcement of the aid package comes as the US Congress prepares to pass another $44.9 billion in assistance to Ukraine as part of a key spending bill. That will ensure US support for Kyiv continues into next year and beyond, when Republicans take control of the House in January.
Some Republican politicians expressed vigilance on the amount of US assistance being transferred to Ukraine.
Also included in the soon-to-be-announced package will be an undisclosed quantity of Joint Direct Attack Ammunition, or JDAM, kits, officials said.
These kits will be used to modify bombs by adding tail fins and precision positioning systems so that instead of simply dropping from a fighter jet on a target, they can be guided to the target. pepper when released.
American fighters and bombers use JDAM and the Pentagon is working to modify them so that the Ukrainian air force can use them.
Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials have pressure Western leaders offers more advanced weapons, especially air defense, and Patriot will be the most advanced surface-to-air missile system the West has provided Ukraine to help repel Russian air attacks.
Afraid to provide high-tech weapons
Washington has been reluctant to supply Ukraine with American fighter jets, and Moscow has warned that advanced planes would also be seen as provocative.
Rather than supplying Ukraine with aircraft, the Pentagon is helping Kiev find innovative ways to upgrade its existing fleet with the latest capabilities available on American fighter jets.
The soon-to-be-announced aid package will also include an undisclosed number of missiles for High mobility artillery missile systemthousands of shells and mortars, trucks and HARM air-to-surface anti-radiation missiles.
Kyiv’s urgent calls and severe destruction of Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, including power and heat outages during the winter, finally overcame U.S. reservations, according to officials. States in giving the Patriots.
French President Emmanuel Macron also said on Tuesday that France has delivered more anti-aircraft missile systems and other weapons to Ukraine and will send more early next year.
“In recent days, France has sent Ukraine more weapons, missile launchers, Crotale (air defense blocks), equipment beyond what we did,” Macron told TF1 and LCI television stations. of France.
“We are also working with the minister of the armed forces [Sebastien Lecornu] to be able to re-supply useful weapons and ammunition in the first quarter [of 2023] so that the Ukrainians can defend themselves against the bombardments,” he said.
Planned future shipments include new Caesar mobile artillery units, but Macron did not provide exact figures.
The French president said the number “will depend” on the outcome of ongoing discussions with Denmark, which has ordered Caesar guns from France and may agree to supply at least some of them. for Kiev.
Since the invasion of Russia in February, France has sent Ukraine 18 Caesar units and a 155 mm howitzer mounted on a six-wheeler truck chassis, capable of firing rounds at a range of more than 40 km (25 mi). ).
Macron said he has two “red lines” when it comes to arms deliveries: that it does not affect France’s ability to defend itself and does not make Paris a belligerent in the war.
He said the weapons were to “allow Ukraine to defend itself” against a barrage of Russian missiles and drone attacks.
Paris has also provided anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles as well as armored personnel carriers.