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US delivers $1.85 billion in new military aid to Ukraine (including powerful Patriot system)

USA provide $1.85 billion in additional military assistance to Ukraine which includes the transfer of the Patriot Air Defense System, President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.

The announcement comes at a time when the president of Ukraine, Volodymir Zelenskyvisits Washington to meet with Biden and address Congress on his first known trip abroad since Russia invaded Ukraine 300 days ago.

SIGHT: Zelensky visits the United States and gets more military aid for Ukraine

The patriot It is “a defensive system, it is not intended to escalate a conflict,” he said. Biden in his joint press conference with Zelensky. “We would love it if they didn’t use it, it’s just to stop the attacks,” he added.

The assistance includes a $1 billion outlay to provide Ukraine with “expanded air defense and precision strike capabilities” and $850 million in security support, Blinken said in a separate statement.

The Patriot is considered one of the most advanced air defense systems in the United States, offering protection against aircraft, cruise projectiles, and ballistic missiles. It usually includes shuttles along with radars and other support vehicles.

US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky hold a press conference in the East Room of the White House, on December 21, 2022. (EFE/EPA/JIM LO SCALZO).

Zelensky He said on Wednesday that the US pledge to provide the Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system was an important step in creating an effective air shield.

Russia said last week that US plans to supply the Patriot defense system to Ukraine constituted a “provocation” and an expansion of Washington’s military involvement in the conflict.

The Kremlin said, if handed over, the defense system would be a legitimate target for Russian attacks against Ukraine.

“Today’s assistance for the first time includes the Patriot Air Defense System, capable of shooting down cruise missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and aircraft at a ceiling significantly higher than systems previously provided,” Blinken said in the statement by the Department of State.

The Pentagon said the aid package would also include munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), guided artillery rounds and precision aerial munitions.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the United States has committed about $21.2 billion in military assistance to kyiv.

Source: Elcomercio

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