Exclusive-U.S. preparing new weapons package for Ukraine-officials

By Thomson Reuters Mar 12, 2024 | 9:50 AM

By Mike Stone and Idrees Ali

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States is preparing a new military aid package for Ukraine that could be worth as much as $400 million, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Tuesday, the first such move in months as additional funds for Kyiv remain blocked by Republican leaders in Congress.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said an announcement was expected later on Tuesday.

One of the officials said that the funding for this package is from credits refunded to the Pentagon for recent purchases.

U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has backed military aid to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, while his likely Republican opponent in the Nov. 5 U.S. election, former president Donald Trump, has a more isolationist stance.

The House is under pressure to pass a $95 billion national security package that bolsters aid for Ukraine, Israel as well as the Indo-Pacific.

That legislation cleared the Senate on a 70-29 vote, but Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has resisted putting up the aid bill for a vote in the House.

(Reporting by Mike Stone and Idrees Ali; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)