Biden tells Zelenskyy the US is sending $800 million more in aid to Ukraine
By Michael D. Shear
The United States will send an additional $800 million worth of military and other security aid to Ukraine to help fight against Russia’s invasion, President Joe Biden told President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday.
In a statement, Biden said that the “new package of assistance will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided, and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine.”
Biden delivered the news to Zelenskyy during a nearly hourlong telephone call between the two leaders, according to White House officials. In the president’s statement, Biden vowed to continue efforts to support Ukraine, which has been pummeled by Russian artillery over the past month.
“I assured President Zelenskyy, the American people will continue to stand with the brave Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom,” Biden said.
The issue of what military assistance to send to Ukraine, and how fast to send it, has taken on greater urgency as the war in Ukraine has become a series of grinding battles between the two armies. Zelenskyy has pleaded for more sophisticated weapons from the United States and its allies.
Biden’s administration has responded with anti-tank weapons, including Javelin missiles, and other weapons that Ukrainian soldiers have used to repel Russian forces, especially in the north of the country. The United States has so far resisted helping Ukraine acquire fighter jets.
Biden said Wednesday the aid package would provide more sophisticated weaponry, including artillery systems, artillery rounds and armored personnel carriers.
Biden also said the United States would “transfer” additional helicopters — although he did not indicate whether they would come directly from the United States or another country. He said his administration would “continue to facilitate” the transfer of other weapons systems from allied countries to Ukraine to help in the fight.
Last week, Slovakia agreed to send Ukraine a Soviet-era S-300 air defense system after the United States agreed to position a more modern Patriot system in Slovakia.