Jun 30, 2022 18:44 UTC
  •  Biden: US will send $800 million in more military aid to Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has said that the United States plans to send an additional $800 million in military aid to Ukraine, including advanced air defense systems and other “offensive” weapons.

“This summit was about strengthening our alliance, meeting the challenges of our world as it is today and the threats we’re going to face in the future,” Biden told reporters at the press conference.

The US president said the new assistance package would also include more counter-battery radars, artillery and ammunition, including ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

Biden also stated that other countries would send HIMARS to Ukraine, where Russian forces are advancing in a bid to capture the industrial heartland known as the Donbas. Ukraine troops are encircled by Moscow’s troops there.

Earlier this week, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that the US would be sending medium- and long-range air defense systems to Ukraine.

On Thursday, Biden said the United States will support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” to ensure it is not defeated by Russia.

“We are going to stick with Ukraine, and all of the [NATO] alliance are going to stick with Ukraine, as long as it takes to make sure they are not defeated by Russia,” Biden told reporters at the NATO summit.

“Ukraine has already dealt a severe blow to Russia,” he added, noting that he did not know how the conflict was going to end, but pledging “it will not end with a Russian defeat of Ukraine”.

Biden said he told Russian President Vladimir Putin before he launched a military invasion of Ukraine that doing so would strengthen NATO.

“Putin thought he could break the transatlantic alliance. He tried to weaken us. He expected our resolve to fracture. But he’s getting exactly what he did not want,” Biden said. 

Biden mentioned the decision by Finland and Sweden to join the US-led military alliance, membership bids that were advanced at the summit after Turkey dropped its objections. 

“He wanted the Finland-ization of NATO. He got the NATO-ization of Finland,” Biden said of Putin.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced that it would provide Ukraine with an additional $1 billion in military aid that includes anti-ship rocket systems, artillery rockets, howitzers and ammunition.