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Pentagon okays new military assistance worth $425mn for Ukraine

A Ukrainian serviceman unpacks Javelin anti-tank missiles delivered by plane as part of the US military support package for Ukraine, at the Boryspil International Airport outside Kiev, Ukraine, February 10, 2022. (File photo by Reuters)

The United States has announced a new $425-million package of weapons and munitions for Ukraine's military.

The assistance package includes anti-tank weapons and air defense and artillery munitions, reports said on Friday.

The package consists of two parts: $125 million and $300 million. The latter, which includes laser-guided munitions to counter drones, will be funded via the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and procured from US arms manufacturers.

The whole package will not be arriving on the battlefield immediately.

The Pentagon said the USAI funding was provided by a resolution passed by Congress in late September to temporarily fund the government. However, that funding is now gone. The package "exhausts the remaining USAI funds currently available to support Ukraine," the US military statement said.

The US military also claimed sending weapons and munitions to Ukraine to fight a proxy war against Russia was "a smart investment in our national security."

According to the Pentagon, the war in Ukraine "helps to prevent a larger conflict in the region and deters potential aggression elsewhere, while strengthening our defense industrial base and creating highly skilled jobs for the American people."

Among the Western countries supplying weaponry to Kiev, the United States is by far the biggest donor.

Since Moscow launched its military campaign in Ukraine in February 2022, Washington has sent Kiev more than 100 billion dollars' worth of military assistance.

Some hardline Republicans in Washington have opposed the continued shipment of military aid to Kiev. They say Ukraine is no match for Russia and will be defeated, meaning the US tax-payer money will go down the drain.

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