US to announce new military aid package for Ukraine on Friday - officials

·1 min read
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing at the White House

By Steve Holland and Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States will announce a new military aid package for Ukraine on Friday, worth roughly $400 million and comprised mainly of ammunition, two officials and a person familiar with the package said.

Aid for Ukraine is expected to be a major topic when President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz meet at the White House on Friday.

The package, the sources said on Thursday, is expected to contain more Guided Multiple Launch Rockets (GMLRS) for HIMARS launchers, ammunition for the Bradley Fighting Vehicles, as well as armored vehicle launched bridges.

The equipment would be funded using Presidential Drawdown Authority, or PDA, in which the president can authorize the transfer of articles and services from U.S. stocks without congressional approval in response to an emergency.

Speaking to reporters earlier at a briefing, White House spokesperson John Kirby did not put a price tag on the new aid package, saying more details would be released shortly.

The U.S. has been sounding out close allies about the possibility of imposing new sanctions on China if Beijing provides military support to Russia for its war in Ukraine, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Kirby was asked if potential sanctions against China would be a topic for Biden and Scholz, and he responded: "I certainly would expect in the context of talking about what's going on in Ukraine that the issue of a third party support to Russia could come up."

(Reporting By Steve Holland, Jarrett Renshaw and Mike Stone; Editing by Leslie Adler and Diane Craft)