Russia Ukraine conflict

US finalizing medium- and long-range air-defense systems for Ukraine: White House

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy voiced his desire to get additional air defense capabilities that “could shoot down Russian missiles out in sky.”

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The US is in the process of finalizing the latest arms package to Ukraine, which will include “medium- and long-range air defense capabilities,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday.

“As the President told his fellow G7 leaders - and as he told President Zelenskyy - we do intend to finalize a package that includes advanced medium- and long-range air defense capabilities for the Ukrainians, along with some other items that are of urgent need, including ammunition for artillery and counterbattery radar systems,” Sullivan told reporters in Germany.

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US President Joe Biden announced another package of weapons on Thursday, including more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition. Patrol boats will also be given to the Ukrainians, which the White House said would help Kyiv defend its coastlines.

During a meeting between G-7 leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Sullivan said the latter requested further air defense systems. “In particular, at the top of his mind was the set of missile strikes that took place in Kyiv and other cities across Ukraine, and his desire to get additional air defense capabilities that could shoot down Russian missiles out in sky.”

The latest announcement by the US was the thirteenth time that Biden authorized what is referred to as a presidential drawdown since Russia invaded Ukraine. Since Feb. 24, the US has provided Ukraine with more than $6 billion in security assistance.

On Friday, a senior US defense official told reporters that Russia had tried to stop the supply of military aid to Ukraine but noted no evidence of “any Russian success in intercepting” weapons assistance. “That is unlikely to change,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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