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US to purchase advanced missile system for Ukraine's defense

ABC News logo ABC News 6/28/2022
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The United States is working to finalize the purchase of an advanced air defense system bound for Ukraine, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said at the G-7 summit in Germany Monday.

Developed in Norway, the NASAMS is an anti-aircraft medium-to-long-range surface-to-air missile that can reportedly strike targets 100 miles away.

Sullivan confirmed to reporters that the U.S. is finalizing the purchase but has yet to sign a contract making the purchase official.

It is unclear how much the anti-aircraft system costs.

Biden told his global counterparts at the G-7 and Ukraine's President Zelensky about U.S. intentions, Sullivan said.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears on screen to address the G7 leaders via video link during their working session at Castle Elmau in Kruen, Germany, June 27, 2022. © Kenny Holston/AP Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears on screen to address the G7 leaders via video link during their working session at Castle Elmau in Kruen, Germany, June 27, 2022.

The impending purchase of the NASAMS system is part of a package that will also include artillery ammunition and counter-battery radars, according to Sullivan. The Ukrainian military made specific requests for the ammunition and radars, he said.

The NASAMS system is reported to protect restricted airspace around the White House.

The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), a mid-range air defense system, in an undated photo from Raytheon. © Raytheon Missiles and Defense The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), a mid-range air defense system, in an undated photo from Raytheon.

Monday's announcement from the G-7 summit comes four days after the White House announced it is sending $450 million in aid to Ukraine. HIMARS missile systems are part of that package.

MORE: Russians advance on war's front line in eastern Ukraine

Hours after the announcement, initial counts are that 10 died and more than 40 were wounded following a Monday missile strike in Kremenchuk in Ukraine's Poltava region.

Residents say the strike hit a shopping mall, setting it ablaze.

MORE: Officials: Russian missile strike hits crowded shopping mall

The administration and President Zelensky hope the NASAMS system and other recent aid from the U.S. will better equip Ukraine to continue its pushback against Russia in the war, which recently entered its fifth month.

Debris litters the area after a projectile and subsequent fire destroyed a warehouse building the previous evening on June 21, 2022 in Druzhkivka, Ukraine. © Scott Olson/Getty Images Debris litters the area after a projectile and subsequent fire destroyed a warehouse building the previous evening on June 21, 2022 in Druzhkivka, Ukraine.

Some G-7 members also announced Sunday they will further tighten their grip on Russia by banning the imports of Russian gold.

The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan joined together to ban Russia's second-largest import but fellow G-7 members Germany, France, and Italy held out.

The move codifies a ban that many refiners, shippers, and banks already voluntarily implemented themselves, and it highlights how even some of the world's global powers -- those geographically closest to the Russia-Ukrainian conflict -- disagree with how to approach the matter.

The U.S. Treasury will release an official notice of the ban as it concerns U.S.-based businesses Tuesday.

President Zelenskyy met virtually with G-7 leaders Monday as the group moves closer to reaching an agreement that will cap the price of Russian oil, further starving Russia of funds to fuel its war.

ABC News' Fidel Pavlenko contributed to this report.

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