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Joe Biden will announce $ 800 million in security assistance to Ukraine

Washington, United States:

U.S. President Joe Biden will announce $ 800 million to Ukraine on Wednesday, according to a White House official, with the announcement that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will speak in the US Congress immediately.

The announcement, at 11:45 a.m. (1545 GMT), “brings in a total of $ 1 billion announced (aid) last week alone,” the official said on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

Zelensky will renew his appeals for further assistance in a virtual speech to Congress early Wednesday as some U.S. lawmakers press the White House to take a tougher stance on the Russian invasion.

Biden had already authorized $ 200 million in additional military equipment for Ukraine on Saturday. That added up to $ 350 million authorized by Washington on Feb. 26, even for military equipment, at the time the largest package in U.S. history.

The White House official did not provide details on what will be included in the $ 800 million in security assistance that will be announced on Wednesday.

But in the past year, the U.S. has provided more than 600 Stinger missiles and about 2,600 Javelin anti-armor systems to Ukraine, along with radar systems, helicopters, grenade launchers, pistols and ammunition and other equipment, the official said.

“The United States remains the largest provider of security assistance to Ukraine,” he said.

Zelensky is increasingly desperate for help in defending his country from a deadly Russian attack, and has repeatedly called on Washington, the European Union and NATO for military equipment, including aircraft, as well as a no-fly zone.

Biden has ruled out a no-fly zone, warning that war would result in a nuclear disaster with Russia, which has nuclear weapons.

On both sides of Congress, however, there is a growing demand for a stronger US stance.

Zelensky’s Wednesday speech will be the second by members of Congress this month, but he will likely be a much larger audience than his March 5 appearance when he asked Russian aircraft to deliver him to his air force.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a union feed.)

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