US preparing more weapons for Ukraine – Reuters
Washington is finalising a new military aid package for Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
The announcement on the delivery of another $1.1 billion worth of arms to Kiev will be made “in the coming days,” according to unnamed US officials, who spoke to the news agency.
The package is expected to include HIMARS multiple rocket launchers and munitions for them, as well as counter-drone and radar systems, along with spare parts, training and technical support, the sources said.
The aid will be funded under the government’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), meaning the hardware will be specifically procured for Kiev from American arms makers, and not taken from US stocks.
The package will come on top of more than $15 billion in military support already provided to President Vladimir Zelensky’s government by Washington since the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in late February.
Moscow has long been critical of weapons supplies to Ukraine by the US, Canada, EU, UK and some other countries, arguing that they only prolong the conflict and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia.
Reports of the upcoming US military aid package to Kiev came on the day when referendums on whether to join Russia concluded in the Donbass republics, as well as in Ukraine's Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. Their results suggested overwhelming support for becoming part of Russia, according to the local authorities.
The US previously said it won’t recognize the results of referendums regardless of their outcome, and warned of more sanctions against Russia if it “annexes” those territories.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that Washington had no objections to Kiev using Western-supplied weapons to target “Ukrainian land” viewed by Russia as its own after the referendums.