US announces new $1.2bn military aid package for Ukraine: what it includes

US working to increase air defence capabilities in Ukraine

On May 9, the United States announced a new $1.2 billion military aid package for Ukraine. It includes air defence systems, ammunition, and artillery shells.

The Pentagon announced this on May 9. "Today, the Department of Defence announced a new security assistance package to reaffirm the United States' continued support for Ukraine, including to strengthen its air defence and meet its artillery ammunition needs," the statement said.

The new package includes:

- additional air defence equipment and ammunition,

- equipment for the integration of Western air defence launchers, missiles and radars with Ukraine's air defence systems,

- ammunition to counter UAVs,

- 155-mm artillery and

- satellite imagery services,

- training and technical support.

"The United States will continue to work with its allies and partners to enable Ukraine to meet its immediate battlefield needs and long-term security assistance requirements," the Pentagon said.

The new military assistance package will be funded by the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. Unlike deliveries of equipment, weapons and ammunition sent from Pentagon warehouses (which can be done quite quickly), the money from the fund will be spent to meet Ukraine's future security needs in the coming months or even years, the Associated Press notes.

Together with the package announced on May 9, the amount of US military aid to Ukraine during the full-scale invasion totalled almost $37 billion.

It was recently reported that the US and Australia are preparing a joint military aid package for Ukraine. It may be announced by the end of May.

Details of the future aid have not yet been disclosed. However, Ukraine's Ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Miroshnychenko, commenting on the information about the aid package, said that "it is too early to talk about it, but it would be good if something like this happened, because it would help Ukraine a lot".

Meanwhile, the United States has stressed that it will continue to focus on increasing supplies of air defence equipment to Ukraine. The White House stressed that since the beginning of May, the air defence systems provided by Western partners to Ukrainian soldiers have helped to shoot down most of the missiles launched by Russia.

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