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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Biden announces new military aid for Ukraine amid Congress budget deadlock


U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a new military aid package worth 325 million U.S. dollars for Ukraine, including more air defense, while the U.S. Congress is struggling to reach a compromise to avert a federal government shutdown.

Biden announced the package during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington.

The package includes counter-airstrike systems, dual-purpose improved conventional munitions, and anti-tank weapons, among others, said the U.S. Department of Defence in a press release.

The package, however, does not include the longer-range ATACMS missiles Kiev wanted, which can strike up to 300 km away.

Zelensky earlier met with Biden, U.S. Congress members, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to discuss more aid for Ukraine, U.S. media reported.

The package is separate from the additional 24 billion dollars that Biden wants the Congress to approve for Ukraine, despite objection from some Republican representatives who intend to cut aid.

Since February 2022, U.S. military aid to Ukraine has totaled 43.9 billion dollars, according to U.S. government figures.

Aid to Ukraine has been one of the core issues in the Congress deadlock over the next financial year’s budget, which may lead to a U.S. federal government shutdown after Sept 30.

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