The United States announced on Monday that it will send $200 million in new security assistance to Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the aid includes ammunition for air defense, artillery, anti-armor equipment and additional equipment to support mine clearance efforts.
Two US officials told Reuters on Monday that Washington would begin disbursing $6.2 billion in funds discovered after an accounting error at the Pentagon inflated the billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine.
The Pentagon said in May that it had erroneously appropriated more than it was allowed to send in US weapons to Kiev when employees used replacement value instead of expenditure value to schedule billions of dollars in munitions, missiles and other equipment sent to Ukraine.
Ukraine needs weapons that can be shipped from the US stockpile in a matter of days or weeks so that it can continue to fend off the Russian invasion.
The accounting error is in the interest of Kiev, as it allows more equipment to be sent.
“I want to thank the United States today for the new package… Ammunition for Patriot systems, HIMARS, Artillery, Javelin and more. Such equipment is badly needed,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on Monday.
“There will be more work very soon with our partners to strengthen our defenses,” he added.
US officials said the early use of the money is important because it represents the latest tranche of $25.5 billion previously authorized by Congress for the Presidential Drawing Authority that the administration could use to send weapons from the US stockpile in case of an emergency.
Washington is currently working on a request for a supplementary budget to continue aiding Kiev, as the Monday’s announcement of $200 million would be the first tranche of a previously authorized $6.2 billion presidential drawing power.