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Biden authorizes largest weapons assistance to Ukraine

A local resident pushes her bicycle through damaged buildings in Toretsk, eastern Ukraine, on Aug 5, 2022. (BULENT KILIC / AFP)

WASHINGTON / KIEV – The administration of US President Joe Biden announced Monday that the United States will provide Ukraine with US$1 billion worth of additional security assistance, the largest one-time weapons package since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

According to a statement by the Department of Defense, the package – the 18th tranche of presidential drawdown since August 2021 – included additional munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), 75,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition, 20 120 mm mortar systems and 20,000 rounds of 120 mm mortar ammunition, as well as munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS).

The just-announced aid brings total US commitment of security assistance to Ukraine to approximately US$9.8 billion since Biden took office, according to the Pentagon

Washington will also deliver to Kiev 1,000 Javelins, hundreds of AT4 anti-armor systems, 50 armored medical treatment vehicles, anti-personnel munitions, explosives, demolition munitions and demolition equipment, the statement said.

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The just-announced aid brings total US commitment of security assistance to Ukraine to approximately US$9.8 billion since Biden took office, according to the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is hoping for Germany's assistance in receiving 8 billion euros (about US$8.17 billion) in aid from the European Union (EU), Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Monday.

"Germany will help Ukraine quickly receive the next 8 billion euros of macro-financial assistance from the EU and will take the lead in this process," Shmyhal wrote on Facebook after online talks with German Finance Minister Christian Lindner.

Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Germany has provided significant financial aid for Kiev, Shmyhal said, without giving exact figures.

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Kiev is also counting on Germany's support in the efforts to postpone Ukraine's foreign debt payments and launch a new cooperation program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Ukrainian prime minister added.

On June 24, the European Commission announced plans to issue up to 9 billion euros in loans to support Ukraine under a new exceptional Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) program.

In early August, Ukraine received 1 billion euros of the aid package in two tranches.