The administration of US President Joe Biden has prepared a package of additional military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $ 200 million, but postponed its approval, despite the calls from Kyiv and some American lawmakers, reported NBC, citing several sources. The postponement, the report said, was made in order to give more time to diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions and preserve leverage in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine.
It's not clear what the proposed $200 million aid package includes, NBC said. According to the channel, Ukraine asked for air defense systems, anti-ship missiles, more Javelin anti-tank missiles, electronic jamming equipment, radar systems, modernized artillery ammunition and medicines.
One of NBC's sources also pointed out that the US presidential administration is considering several other options for further assistance to Ukraine, including a much larger assistance package that will be approved in the event of a Russian invasion.
Earlier, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that President Joe Biden had warned Vladimir Putin that if Russia attacked Ukraine, the U.S. would impose tough sanctions on Moscow and send more military aid to Kyiv. "We will provide the Ukrainians with additional defenses beyond what we already provide," Sullivan said, recounting a telephone conversation between the U.S. and Russian presidents.
On December 8, 22 congressmen appealed to President Biden, urging the US administration to accelerate the provision of military assistance to Ukraine. "For maximum deterrence, it is imperative that at least part of the military assistance – Stinger MANPADS, Javelin anti-tank missiles, drones and anti-ship missiles – be provided immediately. The Ukrainian state should be equipped with the means necessary to protect itself and the region from Russian aggression," the letter said.
The United States already provides military assistance to Ukraine on an ongoing basis, NBC reminds. Only this year it has amounted to $ 400 million. An additional $50 million aid package is being prepared, making this year’s assistance the largest amount of U.S. military aid to Ukraine since 2014.