US to send $300m in military aid to Ukraine as Republicans continue to block $60bn funding package

The US will send around $300m in military aid to Ukraine as Republicans continue to block a $60bn funding package for Kyiv.

The aid package being provided will include anti-aircraft missiles, artillery rounds and armor systems, a senior US defense official has said.

It marks the US Department of Defense’s first announced security package for Ukraine since December.

It came as Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Donald Tusk used a joint visit to the White House on Tuesday to press Washington DC to break its impasse and release the $60bn of US support for Ukraine which is being blocked by Republicans.

The package would help to replenish funds for Ukraine during a critical moment in the war.

CIA director William Burns told Congress that entire Ukrainian units have told him in recent days of being down to their last few dozen artillery shells.

The months without further shipments of US support have hurt operations, and Ukrainian troops withdrew from the eastern city of Avdiivka last month, where outnumbered defenders had withheld a Russian assault for four months.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly implored US Congress for help, but House Republican leadership has not been willing to bring the $60bn Ukraine aid package to the floor for a vote, saying any aid must first address border security needs.

Senior defense officials have told reporters the US defense department has been able to get cost savings of roughly $300m in earlier Ukraine contracts and, given the battlefield situation, decided to use those savings to go ahead and send more weapons.

The United States has committed more than $44.9bn  in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration, including more than $44.2bn since the beginning of Russia’s invasion on 24 February 2022.

The $300m funding was announced on Tuesday as Denmark said it would provide a military aid package for Ukraine.