On Feb. 24, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new security assistance package to Ukraine worth two billion dollars. The aid includes an array of military gear meant to help bolster Ukraine’s air defenses.
“Specifically, the United States is committing additional Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and counter-UAS and electronic warfare detection equipment, as well as critical ammunition stocks for artillery and precision fires capabilities that will bolster Ukraine’s ability to repel Russian aggression,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
The announcement comes days after President Joe Biden made a surprise trip to Ukraine, spending more than five hours in Kyiv, where he announced another half-billion dollars in assistance for howitzers, anti-tank missiles, and air surveillance radars, the Associated Press reported.
Among the supplies to be sent include ammunition for rocket systems, munitions for laser-guided rocket systems, electronic warfare detection equipment, mine clearing equipment, secure communications support equipment, as well as funding for training, maintenance and to sustain military operations.
“The United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and longer-term security assistance requirements for as long as it takes,” Defense officials say.
The announcement also comes amid reports that China is considering providing Russia with drones and ammunition to use in its war with Ukraine.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, cautioned that China providing lethal aid to Russia would be a “game-changer.”
“China should not get involved in this war in the sense of providing lethal weapons to the Russians, that it would be a game-changer and it would be something we would have serious concerns about,” she warned.
Should Chinese authorities proceed with military assistance to Russia, U.S. officials could respond in a number of ways, most likely starting with sanctions, according to foreign policy expert Maia Nikoladze, assistant director of the GeoEconomics Center at the Atlantic Council.
“China is a lot more intertwined with the world economy than Russia is,” she said. “I do not think that China would go so far as to take Russia’s side. They’re just trying to be neutral [but] only so far as it does not cause punitive economic measures.”