Washington: US President Joe Biden has approved $350 million in immediate support to Ukraine’s defence, after Kyiv’s defence minister urged the West to send anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles through Poland to help it repel Russia’s military assault on his country.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that “As Ukraine fights with courage and pride against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked assault, I have authorized, pursuant to a delegation by the President, an unprecedented third Presidential Drawdown of up to $350 million for immediate support to Ukraine’s defense.”
In December last year, the US had authorized $200 million to Ukraine. This package will include “further lethal defensive assistance to help Ukraine address the armored, airborne, and other threats it is now facing”, Blinken said.
“It is another clear signal that the United States stands with the people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereign, courageous, and proud nation.” Ukraine Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov had in a video message said Ukrainian forces are protecting Europe and would fight for their own country but need support.
“We need as much Stinger (anti-aircraft) and anti-tank weapons as possible,” Reznikov said, with the Ukrainian flag behind him.
“In order to provide for reliable procurement of equipment, you may deliver it to Poland. From there we will transport them across the land and quickly saturate our defense.” Reznikov’s video surfaced hours after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.