Speaking to CNN+’s Chris Wallace, Psaki said Russia’s test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile would not change the White House’s posture in aiding Ukraine, vowing that the US would proceed in providing both military and security assistance.
President Joe Biden, she said, will “have more to announce on the next round of security assistance in very short order. You’ll hear more soon.”
The Biden administration is working to get the military assistance to Ukraine as quickly as possible because it believes the war is in a critical stage and the continued US assistance could make a difference when Russia’s more aggressive assault on Eastern Ukraine ramps up, one of the administration officials said.
The more open terrain in that region favors the use of artillery and long-range systems, which is why the administration has placed a premium on getting those types of systems in quickly as the fighting moves away from Kyiv and into the Donbas region.
If approved, the latest package of $800 million would mean the US has committed approximately $3.4 billion dollars in assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on February 24.
For weeks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pleaded with world leaders for more arms and equipment. In March, he spoke with the parliaments of 17 countries, as well as three international organizations. He never strayed far from his core message: Ukraine needs more weapons.
Zelensky asked Congress for new air defense systems to help defend Ukraine’s skies. He requested 1% of NATO’s tanks and planes to fight back against Russian forces. And he sought more weapons from Belgium, warning that if Ukraine loses, the European Union loses.