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White House approves $200 million in weapons for Ukraine's defense against Russia

Business Insider logo Business Insider 3/13/2022 mmark@businessinsider.com (Michelle Mark)
A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press © Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press
  • The White House on Saturday announced the authorization of $200 million in defense aid to Ukraine.
  • The package includes Javelin antitank missiles and Stinger antiaircraft missiles, officials said.
  • On Saturday, Russia said that convoys "pumping Ukraine with weapons" will be considered "legitimate targets."

The White House on Saturday announced that President Joe Biden authorized $200 million worth of defense aid for Ukraine, including arms, equipment, military education, and training.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the spending package would include "further defensive assistance to help Ukraine meet the armored, airborne, and other threats it is facing."

He continued: "This drawdown will bring the total security assistance provided by the United States to Ukraine to more than $1.2 billion since the beginning of the Administration."


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Officials told The New York Times that the arms package includes Javelin antitank missiles and Stinger antiaircraft missiles, and will be shipped into western Ukraine from existing US military stockpiles elsewhere in Europe.

Pentagon officials told The Times that Russia hasn't yet attacked such shipments because its forces are too preoccupied elsewhere in Ukraine, but that could soon change.

On Saturday, Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, warned the US that "pumping Ukraine with weapons from a number of countries orchestrated by them is not just a dangerous move, but these are actions that turn the corresponding convoys into legitimate targets."

The US is among several other nations that have provided antitank and antiaircraft weapons to Ukraine. The US provided a similar arms and equipment package to Ukraine in February, which included anti-armor, small arms, body armor, various munitions, and antiaircraft systems.

Earlier this week, the US Senate also approved a $1.5 trillion government funding bill that included $13.6 billion in emergency humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine, as Insider's Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the US and NATO to take stronger measures to assist Ukraine, such as providing fighter jets and establishing a no-fly zone. The US has rejected both pleas, noting that flying fighter jets into contested airspace would raise "serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance," and that a no-fly zone would effectively commit the US to shooting down any Russian aircraft entering Ukrainian airspace.

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