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Ukrainian troops repair an American-supplied Abrams tank. (Mick Krever/CNN via CNN Newsource)

US announcing $2.3 billion military aid for Ukraine

July 2, 2024

By Haley Britzky, CNN

(CNN) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Tuesday that the US will soon announce more than $2.3 billion in military aid for Ukraine.

“This package under presidential drawdown authority will provide new air defense interceptors, anti-tank weapons, and other critical munitions from US inventories,” Austin said in a meeting with Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov. “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 resequencing of deliveries for some foreign military sales.”

It was unclear how much of the total $2.3 billion would be under Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), which pulls equipment from US stocks, or under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) which allows the US to purchase equipment and systems from the US defense industry.

The US has been announcing regular packages for Ukraine since Congress passed legislation that approved nearly $61 billion in Ukraine aid earlier this year.

The US recently moved Ukraine to the top of the list to receive air defense capabilities, putting it ahead of other countries who may have already been in line to receive them.

A White House official told CNN at the time that in private discussions, “many of these countries have understood and appreciated the necessity of this decision.”

“If any of our partners were in an existential situation like the one that Ukraine is in right now, we would move heaven and earth to help them and it just so happens that right now that country is Ukraine,” the official said.

The announcement comes just weeks after the US and Ukraine signed a long-term bilateral security pact that commits the US to 10 years of training Ukraine’s armed forces, providing military assistance and increasing intelligence sharing.

It also comes one week before the NATO summit held in Washington, DC. Austin said Tuesday that they would “take steps to build a bridge to NATO membership for Ukraine.”

Umerov thanked Austin for his support and said Ukraine has used it to stop Russia, “stop the aggression towards people, towards our values, national interests.” He said he looked forward to discussing the possibility of Ukraine becoming a future NATO member.

“Hopefully soon, Ukraine will receive its invitation,” Umerov said of NATO.

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