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US to send €3.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine and its neighbours

The US will send $3.75 billion (€3.52 billion) in military weapons and other aid to Ukraine and its neighbours on NATO’s eastern flank, the White House announced Friday, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds on.

The biggest US assistance package to date for Kyiv includes a $2.85 billion (€2.67 billion) drawdown from the Pentagon’s stocks that will be sent directly to Ukraine and $225 million (€211 million) in foreign military financing to build the long-term capacity and support modernisation of Ukraine’s military, according to the White House. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with US senators Jack Reed and Angus King in the capital Kyiv on Friday.

The Ukrainian president’s office said in a statement that the politicians “discussed the current situation on the frontline and the risks of a possible escalation.”

“Thank you very much for everything. I think, today I can say it very honestly and openly,” Zelenskyy said during the meeting.

The direct assistance for Ukraine includes 50 Bradleys as well as 500 anti-tank missiles and 250,000 rounds of ammunition for the carriers. The US is also sending 100 M113 armoured personnel carriers, 55 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, or MRAPS, and 138 Humvees, as well as ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and air defence systems and other weapons and thousands of rounds of artillery, according to the Pentagon.

Germany following suit

Germany also announced its intention to send the Marder APCs following a phone call between Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Joe Biden on Thursday.

“These 40 vehicles should be ready in the first quarter already so that they can be handed over to Ukraine,” Scholz’s spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit, told reporters in Berlin. Germany plans to train Ukrainian forces to use the vehicles, and Hebestreit said experts expect that process to take around eight weeks.

Germany last year secured deals in which eastern NATO allies sent familiar Soviet-era equipment to Ukraine, with Germany, in turn, supplying those countries with more modern Western-made equipment.

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