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U.S. Promises $2.3 Billion More Support to Kiev Regime Ahead of NATO Summit

President Biden (right) with Zelenskyy in Ukraine last year. The U.S. is offering more support to Ukraine. Photo: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin hosted Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov at the Pentagon yesterday, ahead of next week’s NATO summit. During public remarks, Austin said that the U.S. would soon be announcing a new, $2.3 billion weapons package for the Kiev regime. “This package under presidential drawdown authority will provide more air defense inceptors, anti-tank weapons, and other critical munitions from US inventories,” he said. “It will also enable the United States to procure more Patriot and NASAMS air defense interceptors, which will be provided on an accelerated timeline by the re-sequencing of deliveries for some foreign military sales.”

During a press briefing that followed a few hours later, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder had little to add on the upcoming announcement but had more to say about the NATO summit, at which Austin “will be engaged in discussions to ramp up Trans-Atlantic defense industrial production, ensure adequate defense investments from allies and the deepening of practical cooperation between NATO and its Indo-Pacific partners to include Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.”

Ryder also reported that it was his understanding that currently more than a dozen Ukrainian pilots are training on the F-16 in both Denmark and the United States. “For operational security reasons, I’m not going to be able to get into the specific numbers of pilots at those locations and the training timelines,” he said. “But as you’ll recall, you know, the training is tailored to the pilots, and it will continue to depend on student experience. Their English language skills, their, you know, flying experience, whether they go through basic flying training or to advanced, you know, F-16 fighter training.” He added later that some pilots have already graduated and that some of the F-16s are slated for delivery to Ukraine sometime this summer.