U.S. President Joe Biden is flanked by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks as he discusses the U.S. government’s assistance to Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion of the neighboring country, before signing an executive order on assistance in Eisenhower South Court Auditorium of the White House Office Building in Washington, U.S. March 16, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
March 16, 2022
By Jeff Mason and Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced $800 million in additional security aid to Ukraine, even as his position on a no-fly zone shifted following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s urgent appeal to the US Congress military aid to defense had not changed before a Russian invasion.
Regarding Zelenskyy’s remarks in his speech, Biden said the United States had offered Ukraine $1 billion in security aid, adding that America will continue to give Ukraine weapons to fight and self-defense, provide humanitarian aid and boost the Ukrainian economy with additional financial help.
“This new package alone will provide unprecedented assistance to Ukraine and includes 800 anti-aircraft systems,” Biden said to prevent Russian planes and helicopters from attacking Ukrainians.
At Zelensky’s request, Washington will help Ukraine acquire additional long-range anti-aircraft missile systems, Biden said. It will also deliver 9,000 anti-tank systems, drones and 7,000 small arms such as machine guns, shotguns and grenade launchers that will help civilians defend their country.
“More will come as we acquire additional stocks of equipment that … we are willing to transfer,” he said.
The new funds come from a spending bill signed by Biden that includes $13.6 billion in new aid to Ukraine.
In his address to Congress, Zelenskyy compared the attacks in Ukraine to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that drew the United States into World War II, and asked lawmakers and Biden directly for more help.
“This is terror that Europe has not seen in 80 years and we ask for our lives for a response to this terror from around the world. Is that asking a lot? To create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people?” Zelenskyy asked through an interpreter.
“If that’s too much to ask, we’ll offer an alternative,” he said. “They know what kind of defense systems we need,” he adds, knowing the United States has them.
Biden has called the creation of a no-fly zone over Ukraine “World War III,” and the Pentagon has denied requests to send fighter jets to Ukraine.
Earlier Wednesday, Russia and Ukraine both stressed newfound room for compromise as peace talks were set to resume three weeks after a Russian attack that has so far failed to overthrow the Ukrainian government.
On Tuesday, the White House said Biden would travel to Brussels for a March 24 NATO summit to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation” to disarm and “denazify” its neighbor “.
Biden has tightened sanctions imposed on Russia in recent days. He has called for a suspension of Russia’s trade status, which allows its exported products to enjoy lower tariffs on the international scene, and announced a ban on Russian oil and other energy imports.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose, Jeff Mason, and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons, Jonathan Oatis, and Grant McCool)
https://www.oann.com/biden-to-announce-new-security-assistance-for-ukraine-after-signing-massive-spending-bill/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=biden-to-announce-new-security-assistance-for-ukraine-after-signing-massive-spending-bill US is sending hundreds more anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine, says Biden