U.S. Poised to Send Long-Range Missiles to Ukraine Pending $61 Billion Aid Package Approval

The US plans to transfer long-range missiles to Ukraine within a week, pending Biden's approval of a $61B aid package. This crucial support aims to bolster Ukraine's defenses against Russia's advances and potentially regain the offensive.

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Hadeel Hashem
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U.S. Poised to Send Long-Range Missiles to Ukraine Pending $61 Billion Aid Package Approval

U.S. Poised to Send Long-Range Missiles to Ukraine Pending $61 Billion Aid Package Approval

The United States could begin transferring long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine within a week, according to Senator Mark Warner, pending President Biden's approval of the $61 billion Ukraine aid package passed by the House of Representatives on April 20, 2024.

Warner, the Chair of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, expressed hope that once the bill is signed by the President, the weapons will be shipped to Ukraine by the end of next week.

The aid package, which passed with bipartisan support in the House despite opposition from some ultraconservative Republicans, includes $13.8 billion for Ukraine to purchase advanced weapons, $13.4 billion to replenish U.S. stockpiles, and $11 billion to support U.S. allies in the region. It also provides $26 billion in aid for Israel and $8 billion for parts of the Indo-Pacific region, including Taiwan.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the U.S. House for approving the aid, stating that it shows American leadership and is vital for preserving international order. Zelensky urged the U.S. Senate to quickly ratify the package so that Ukraine can strengthen its frontline defenses against Russia, as Ukrainian forces are currently outgunned and lack necessary equipment like long-range weapons and air defenses.

Why this matters: The approval of this aid package is seen as essential for Ukraine to slow Russia's advances and potentially regain the offensive, with some lawmakers warning that if Russia succeeds in Ukraine, Putin may invade other European nations. The Biden administration's policy of arming Ukraine to fight back against Russia has faced criticism from former President Trump, who has suggested that Ukraine should cede territory to Russia.

Senator Warner acknowledged that Ukraine's morale has been undermined by a lack of ammunition and artillery, noting that the Ukrainians have been "literally given out rationed bullets" and need the additional equipment to continue their fight against Russia. He also warned that China has been helping Russia rebuild its defense industrial base, undermining the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions.

The U.S. first delivered older ATACMS models with a range of 165 kilometers to Ukraine in October 2023, and the newer variants with a range of around 300 kilometers have not been provided yet. Warner praised the Ukrainian military's achievements, saying that U.S. aid to Ukraine has proved well worth the financial investment, with the Ukrainians eliminating a significant portion of Russia's pre-existing ground forces, tanks, and armoured personnel carriers without any American soldiers lost.

The Senate is expected to vote on the aid package this week, and President Biden is anticipated to sign it into law shortly thereafter. U.S. officials have indicated that some of the weapons could reach the battlefield in less than a week once the aid package is approved. However, experts caution that it could still take weeks for the aid to have a direct impact on the war, and more may be needed to <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/news/ukraine-war-latest-us-house-182823399.html" target="_blank

Key Takeaways

  • The US could transfer long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine within a week, pending Biden's approval.
  • $61B Ukraine aid package passed House with bipartisan support, includes $13.8B for advanced weapons.
  • Zelensky urges the Senate to quickly ratify aid package to strengthen Ukraine's frontline defenses.
  • US aid to Ukraine has proved worthwhile, with Ukrainians eliminating significant Russian forces.
  • Experts caution aid may take weeks to impact war, and more may be needed to aid Ukraine.