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U.S. to give Ukraine more rocket launchers, Biden tells Zelenskiy

World Oct 05, 2022 01:15AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. and Ukrainian flags are pictured prior to the start of the UUkraine Defense Consultative Group meeting hosted by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, at U.S. Airbase in Ramstein, Germany, April
 
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By Nandita Bose and Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden promised a new $625-million security assistance package to Ukraine on Tuesday, prompting a warning from Moscow that such a move risked a direct military clash between Russia and the West.

The U.S. package would include High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers used in Ukraine's successful counter-offensive that has recently forced Russian troops into retreat.

In a telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden underscored that Washington would never recognize Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory, the White House said in a statement.

Biden "pledged to continue supporting Ukraine as it defends itself from Russian aggression for as long as it takes," it added.

The aid package is the first since Russia's most recent declared annexation of Ukrainian territory and the second Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) since Ukraine's large battlefield gains in mid-September.

In a strongly worded response, Russia's envoy to the United States warned that Biden's offer fuelled the danger of a direct military clash between Russia and the West.

On the Telegram messaging app, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov urged Washington to stop "provocative actions" that could lead to "serious consequences".

"We perceive this as an immediate threat to the strategic interests of our country," he said.

Russia's declared annexations last week followed what it called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and non-representative.

The State Department said in a release the package includes four HIMARS launchers and associated rockets, 32 Howitzers with 75,000 rounds of ammunition, 200 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, and Claymore anti-personnel mines.

Made by Lockheed Martin Corp (NYSE:LMT), the HIMARS launchers' accuracy and longer range have allowed Kyiv to reduce Russia's artillery advantage.

"Recent developments from Russia's sham referenda and attempted annexation to new revelations of brutality against civilians in Ukrainian territory formerly controlled by Russia only strengthens our resolve," the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Last week, the United States unveiled a $1.1 billion arms package for Ukraine, which included 18 HIMARS launcher systems, accompanying munitions, various types of counter drone systems and radar systems.

But last week's aid package was funded by the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) meaning the government has to procure the weapons from industry, rather than pulling them from existing U.S. weapons stocks.

The United States has now pledged 20 HIMARS launchers to Ukraine using PDA.

This announcement would mark more than $16.8 billion worth of U.S. security assistance since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

(This story has been refiled to correct punctuation in paragraphs 3,8)

U.S. to give Ukraine more rocket launchers, Biden tells Zelenskiy
 

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Comments (13)
Peter Andersen
Peter Andersen Oct 05, 2022 8:37AM ET
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We can se now the Russians army is a totally fiasco no Sense stating this war putin has stolen all the money from the normal people in Russia and he is still ne of the richest people in the world it’s insane
V Btc
V Btc Oct 05, 2022 2:24AM ET
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why dont you stick this rocket launcher in your but, joey
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Oct 05, 2022 2:24AM ET
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Thanks for sharing!
Mase Gumbo
Mase Gumbo Oct 05, 2022 2:24AM ET
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v btc likes those kind of things himself
Nerijus Nerijus
BalticTiger Oct 05, 2022 1:44AM ET
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If you want peace and prosperity for the whole world, Russia needs to be beaten up, divided between other countries until several generations change. What they know is only to steal, ******and destruct. worthless slaves nation with brainwash attitude that can not distinguish between good and bad. They do not want democracy because they do not know what to do with it... Criple dictator is the mirror reflection of the nation itself....
neang aee 냥에
neang aee 냥에 Oct 05, 2022 1:19AM ET
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Are you still hopelessly devoted to stock market?
Bob Ruckle
Bob Ruckle Oct 05, 2022 1:11AM ET
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Sleepy Joe is on a suicide mission for America.
rajesh vairale
rajesh vairale Oct 05, 2022 1:10AM ET
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Hey Biden,war should not be stopped,all world should live in fear,it's ur dream na!!
Uttam Dutta
Uttam Dutta Oct 05, 2022 1:06AM ET
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Time of US has come. US will be sidelined by 2026. Everything is time. Biden has enough destruction of america. America will lost its Glory very soon.
pablo escobar
pablo escobar Oct 05, 2022 1:03AM ET
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yeahhhh give me more war
Devin Nathaniel
Devin Nathaniel Oct 05, 2022 1:01AM ET
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money is number one. people prosperity is just a promise
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Oct 04, 2022 9:26PM ET
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The US gets to obliterate it's number one enemy for pennies on the dollar, while increasing it's standing and reputation in the world, has been a stroke of genius by Biden. The more help we give Ukraine now the sooner they can vanquish the russians, and the sooner we can go back to peace and prosperity
gab nea
gab nea Oct 04, 2022 9:26PM ET
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from your mouth to God's ears!
 
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