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Ukraine’s ammo shortage hurts US strategically – White House

The Biden administration has approved a new aid package for Kiev after previously saying the money had run out

Two months after running out of money to send weapons to Ukraine, President Joe Biden’s administration has found enough spare funding at the Pentagon to announce a new aid package valued at up to $300 million.

The money is coming from the Pentagon’s so-called “drawdown authority,” under which it sends US weaponry to Ukraine and uses congressionally approved funding to replenish its stockpiles. Although the administration confirmed in January that it had run out of those replenishment funds, “unanticipated savings” that the Department of Defense negotiated in its weapons contracts freed up money for a new aid package, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday in a White House press briefing.

That package will include Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, artillery rounds, cluster munitions, AT4 anti-armor systems, and missiles for M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers. Biden has blamed Republican lawmakers for Kiev’s recent battlefield losses, including last month’s fall of Avdeevka to Russian forces, saying Ukrainian troops must ration their ammunition because the US Congress hasn’t approved his request for over $60 billion in additional aid.

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“When Russian troops advance, and its guns fire, Ukraine does not have enough ammunition to fire back,” Sullivan said. “That’s costing terrain, it’s costing lives, and it’s costing us – the United States and the NATO alliance – strategically.”

The administration has already used up $113 billion in congressionally approved Ukraine aid. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has balked at Biden’s demand for more money, saying the president is merely prolonging the conflict with Russia while offering no strategy for brining an end to the bloodshed.

Sullivan reiterated Biden’s call for the House to approve a $95 billion emergency spending bill that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The “modest” aid package announced on Tuesday will only keep Ukraine’s guns firing “for a short period,” he said, and “will not prevent Ukraine from running out of ammunition in the weeks to come.”

“The world is watching, the clock is ticking, and we need to see action as rapidly as possible – even as we do everything in our power to get Ukraine what it needs in its hour of need,” Sullivan added.


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