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Zelenskyy thanks US President Joe Biden for defense support package of USD 2.5 bn
Kyiv: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has thanked US President Joe Biden for providing Kyiv with a defense package of USD 2.5 billion in new weaponry and munitions for Ukraine, as the country prepares for a new stage in the ongoing conflict with Russia.
Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude for unwavering leadership from the US side. Taking to Twitter, Zelenskyy wrote, "Thank you @POTUS for providing with another powerful defense support package worth USD 2.5 billion. Stryker IFVs, additional Bradley APCs, Avenger air defense systems are important help in our fight against the aggressor. Thank you people for unwavering leadership support!"
Significantly, however, the defense package does not feature battle tanks requested by Kyiv but includes 90 Stryker armoured personnel carriers, an additional 59 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Avenger air defence systems, and large and small munitions, according to a Pentagon statement.
"The 59 Bradley IFVs included in this package, together with the 50 Bradleys previously committed on January 6, and the 90 Stryker APCs will provide Ukraine with two brigades of armoured capability," it said.
The latest package brings total US military assistance to Ukraine since Russia's February 2022 invasion to more than USD 26.7 billion.
Since the United Kingdom announced last week that it would send Challenger 2 tanks, Berlin has faced increasing pressure to supply its Leopard 2 tanks or at least clear the way for others, such as Poland, to deliver the German-made equipment from their own stock.
"I am grateful to Charles Michel, President of the European Council, who was in Kyiv today and who very clearly calls on Europe to make a decision on tanks," said Zelenskyy.
"Now we are waiting for a decision from one European capital that will activate the prepared chains of cooperation on tanks," the Ukrainian president said, adding, "I believe that the strength of German leadership will remain unchanged." (ANI)