US Approves $138 Million in Air Defense Equipment for Ukraine


(Bloomberg) — The State Department approved the emergency sale of $138 million in air-defense equipment for Ukraine, part of a US push to keep up support for the country while a far larger assistance package remains stuck in Congress. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken determined that an “emergency exists that requires the immediate sale” of equipment, services and training for the Hawk Phase III missile system from RTX Corp., the department said on Tuesday. 

After a failed offensive last year, Ukraine’s military has struggled with shrinking weapons stockpiles against resurgent Russian forces aided by a renewed defense industrial base that Western officials say has been bolstered by China. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has appealed to the US and other Western nations for air defense as his country’s cities endure repeated Russian air assaults, including with Iranian attack drones.

The Biden administration has repeatedly asked House Speaker Mike Johnson to let lawmakers vote on a combined funding package that would send aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, but the Louisiana Republican, under pressure from hardline conservatives, has so far refused to do so. US officials have been looking at other ways, including outright sales, to get badly needed weapons to Ukraine. 

US Central Command said earlier Tuesday that the American government had transferred to the Ukrainian armed forces thousands of confiscated weapons that Iran intended to ship to the Houthi militants in Yemen. 

Earlier: US Sends Ukraine Iranian Weapons Captured From Houthi Militants

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron was in Washington on Tuesday, and met with former President Donald Trump on Monday to push him to persuade his Republican allies in Congress to stop obstructing the Ukraine aid money. 

“We know what they need, we know they need air defenses,” Cameron said at a briefing. “It’s not for foreign politicians to tell legislators in another country what to do. It’s just that I’m so passionate about the importance of defending Ukraine against this aggression.”

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Published: 10 Apr 2024, 04:07 AM IST

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