Biden promises Ukraine's Zelenskyy more artillery in $625m aid

US president underlines commitment to punish entities who support Russia's annexations of Ukrainian territory

US President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyrr Zelenskyy that he was sending another $625 million military aid package to Kyiv. AP
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US President Joe Biden told Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy that America would deliver another $625 million military aid package to Kyiv that would include more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (Himars), the White House said.

The latest transfer from US stocks includes four Himars rocket launchers and ammunition, 16 howitzers and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.

“President Biden pledged to continue supporting Ukraine as it defends itself from Russian aggression for as long as it takes,” the White House said.

Washington and Kyiv officials have hailed the capabilities of the Himars in Ukraine's defence against Russian aggression.

Last week the US Congress approved another $12.3 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine.

The legislation gives Mr Biden the authorisation for up to $3.7bn for the transfer of Ukrainian weapons from US supplies.

Mr Biden also told Mr Zelenskyy that the US remained committed to punishing those who provide support to Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory.

The Ukrainian president praised the "substantial support from the US".

"Our victories within the ongoing defence operation are a joint success of Ukraine, the US and the entire free world," he wrote on Twitter.

In the call between the two leaders, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, Mr Biden said the US would never recognise Moscow's annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

“President Biden also affirmed the continued readiness of the United States to impose severe costs on any individual, entity, or country that provides support to Russia’s purported annexation,” the White House said.

The US last week imposed sanctions on hundreds of Russian individuals and entities after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that he had annexed the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

Mr Biden also highlighted US-led efforts to support Ukraine's fight for freedom and democracy, “as enshrined in the United Nations Charter”, the White House said.

The US has committed more than $16.8bn in military assistance to Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 24, the Pentagon said.

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Updated: October 04, 2022, 8:15 PM