U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a plenary session at the 19th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-la Dialogue, Asia’s annual defense and security forum, in Singapore, Saturday, June 11, 2022.
WASHINGTON, November 20 (Sputnik) – US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday announced a new $100 million aid package for Ukraine that includes air defense munitions and anti-tank weapons. “I announced today another $100 million drawdown, using presidential drawdown authority, to provide additional artillery munitions, additional interceptors for air defense and a number of anti-tank weapons as well. So our support continues,” Austin said after meeting with Ukrainian officials in Kiev during a surprise visit.The weapons package includes additional HIMARS rocket artillery systems and ammunition, TOW missiles and Javelin man-portable anti-tank launchers.Austin arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Monday in a trip the Pentagon said was designed to “reinforce the staunch support of the United States for Ukraine’s fight for freedom.”Later in the week, the Pentagon head is expected to host another meeting of the so-called Ukraine Defense Contact Group virtually from the Pentagon.Austin’s Kiev trip comes as divisions in Washington mark the specter of reduced military and economic support for the Zelensky government, with a Department of Defense spokeswoman warning earlier this month that there was about $1 billion remaining in the Ukraine support fund. Separately, USAID officials have indicated that direct budget support for Ukraine has already run out, and expressed concerns that Kiev might resort to radical emergency measures including money printing, and spark hyperinflation which would “severely damage the war effort.”AnalysisUkraine’s Leadership Faces ‘Day of Reckoning’ Amid Dwindling Western Support18 November, 18:54 GMT