US Prepares $2.3B Ukraine Aid Package

( – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has announced additional support for Ukraine worth $2.3 billion. The package is in support of their ongoing war efforts at repelling Russia which has been steadily taking land and pushing the Ukrainian defenders back towards Kyiv. Austin also suggested that the U.S. was taking steps toward potentially admitting the embattled European state to NATO, despite the potential for global war that could result.

Most observers don’t expect NATO to admit Ukraine, however; Austin gave no further elaboration about what he meant by taking steps. Ukraine has been desperate for more weapons, technology, and money in recent weeks to counter missile, artillery, and drone attacks by Russia.

Austin highlighted that the new package will provide anti-tank weapons and advanced air defense systems, including accelerating the deployment of NASAMS and Patriot missile systems. Austin made the announcement before a meeting with Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov.

The U.S. has provided tens of billions in military support over the course of the war which began in February 2022. It’s believed that should the GOP and former President Donald Trump take control of the government after November’s elections, support for the war would stop. Trump advisors have suggested that he would tie future weapons deliveries to a requirement to immediately begin peace talks.

Republicans in Congress as well as Democrats largely favor continuing the war indefinitely despite the cost to American taxpayers and Ukrainian families. It’s been estimated that several hundred thousand Ukrainians have died in the fighting.

Umerov posted to Telegram shortly after the meeting suggesting it was a success and that he anticipates an invitation to NATO “soon” and that the air defenses were coming “as quickly as possible.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been desperate for NATO membership, as Ukraine would then be entitled to mutual defense under the alliance. The situation would effectively pit Russia against the combined might of the alliance and rapidly expand the nature of the war. Despite the talk, there’s little indication that Ukraine will be joining the alliance anytime soon.

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