US President Joe Biden has announced an additional $800 million in taxpayer-funded military aid to Ukraine, adding to the $200 million pledged to the beleaguered nation on Saturday.
Among the deadly items promised to the American ally on Wednesday are 9,000 anti-armour systems, 7,000 small arms, 800 anti-aircraft missiles, 20 million cartridges, bullet-proof vests and drones. Biden announced the details just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional appeal for military assistance to the US Congress via video link.
The package represents “direct transfers of equipment from our Ministry of Defense to the Ukrainian army to help them in their fight against this invasion“, said the president, adding that the United States would also help kyiv to acquire “additional longer-range anti-aircraft systems.”
However, Biden indicated no change in the US position on sending Polish MiG-29 jets to Ukraine or imposing a no-fly zone over western Ukraine. Ukraine. The United States and its NATO allies have repeatedly rejected Zelensky’s calls to impose a no-fly zone on his country, warning it could lead to a direct confrontation with Russia.
Biden insisted the massive aid package wouldn’t be the last, saying it was “on freedom” and “the right of [Ukrainian] people to determine their own future.”
Biden praised Zelensky following Wednesday morning’s address to Congress, in which he repeatedly called for a no-fly zone and called on the US president to be the “leader of the world.”
The US leader called Zelensky’s performance “convincing», swearing that Ukraine «will never be a victory for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, no matter his progress on the battlefield.”
Zelensky talks to 3 European leaders
After conceding earlier that Ukraine would not be part of NATO, Zelensky on Wednesday called for a “new covenant“nations that understood”responsible countries.”
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