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US to provide $200mn worth of military equipment to Ukraine

The US will provide an additional package of military equipment to Ukraine worth $200 million, days after the White House requested further funding from Congress to bolster Kiev in its ongoing war with Russia.

In a statement on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that items in the latest package include air defence munitions, artillery rounds, anti-armor capabilities, and additional mine-clearing equipment, reports Xinhua news agency.

In a press release containing a detailed list of equipment to be sent to Ukraine, the Pentagon said this is the 44th tranche of equipment for Ukraine that’s going to be extracted from Department of Defense inventories since August 2021.

The latest assistance, the release said, will utilise assistance previously authorised by Biden under Presidential Drawdown Authority for Ukraine that remained after a revaluation process concluded in June to determine what went wrong in an inconsistency in calculating the value of military equipment sent to Ukraine.

The Pentagon admitted that an accounting error resulted in an overestimation of $6.2 billion in the value of weapons packages provided to Ukraine during a two-year period ending September 30 this year.

Adding Monday’s announced assistance to the sum, the Biden administration has committed $43.7 billion in security assistance for Ukraine since it came to office in January 2021, including $43 billion since Russia launched its war against Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the Pentagon said in a separate statement.

In another development, the Biden administration on August 10 asked Congress to approve $24 billion for Ukraine.

The request was contained in a spending package totaling about $40 billion that also included $4 billion for border security and $12 billion related to disaster relief.

Biden has vowed to assist Ukraine “as long as it takes”, but his administration’s relentless spending on Ukraine has faced opposition in Congress, especially from far-right Republicans who argued against aiding Ukraine indefinitely.

Pressure is mounting on the Biden administration to ensure transparency in the taxpayer-supported Ukraine aid money, with Republicans — and even some progressive Democrats — urging stringent audit.

In a sign of sharp partisan divide on the issue, though, Senate Democrats last month blocked an amendment to the fiscal year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act that would create a new office conducting oversight into U. military assistance for Ukraine. 

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