By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The United States of America(USA) will announce a new $2.6 billion military aid package as soon as Monday, 3 April, 2023 for Ukraine, which could include tank munitions, air surveillance radars, anti-tank rockets and fuel trucks, reports say.
The final list of the latest batch of the military aid is yet to be finalized over the weekend, Reuters cited three US officials as saying. The dollar amount of the package or the specifics of the equipment could also see changes.
The list is being jotted down for the inclusion of precision aerial munitions, which Ukraine would use to assault Russian positions, recovery vehicles to help disabled heavy equipment like tanks and additional rounds for NASAMS air defenses that the US and allies have given to Kiev.
If broken down, the upcoming package comprises a whopping $2.1 billion in weapons aid provided by the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funding, which enables the Joe Biden administration to purchase the arms directly from the industry rather than from the US weapons inventory.
The remainder $500 million is expected to come from Presidential Drawdown Authority funds, which permits the president to withdraw from current US stocks in an emergency.
So far, the Biden administration has committed more than $31.7 billion in “security” assistance since the start of the 2022 conflict.
According to TASS calculations in January, Ukraine has received Western military aid of around $48.5 billion since the start of the war, which is practically equal to Russia’s 2022 defense budget.
The overall aid, received by the Kiev government from Western countries and international organizations since the start of the war, is estimated at more than $150.8 billion in Ukraine, the report said.
Therefore, total Western aid to Ukraine since late February 2022 exceeded the Ukrainian budget – estimated by $55.5 billion – by almost three times, the news agency said.
On Wednesday, 22 March, 2023, the German government said it had agreed to send an additional 12 billion euros ($13 billion) worth of military support to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday that its executive board has approved a four-year $15.6 billion loan program for Ukraine.
The scheme is being said to be a part of a broader $115 billion overall international support package to help the country meet urgent funding needs, it said.
Russia and its allies have continuously warned that the Ukraine conflict is not coming to an end just because the US and its allies are arming Ukraine with continuous supply of high-tech military warfare.
Source : Reuters