US President Joe Biden is set to announce that the US is providing an advanced surface-to-air missile system to Ukraine, as well as additional artillery support, according to a person familiar with the matter, in the latest assistance meant to help the country defend against Russia’s four-month invasion.
The U.S. is purchasing NASAMS, a Norwegian-developed anti-aircraft system, to provide medium- to long-range defense, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. NASAMS is the same system used by the US to protect the sensitive airspace around the White House and US Capitol in Washington.
Additional aid includes more ammunition for Ukrainian artillery, as well as counter-battery radars, to support its efforts against the Russian assault in the Donbas, the person said.
The announcement comes as Biden is huddling with allies this week on supporting Ukraine in meetings at the Group of Seven advanced economies (G7) summit in Germany and NATO leaders’ annual gathering in Madrid.
In his daily address late Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky renewed his calls for more weapons and air defense systems to be delivered to Ukraine and for fresh sanctions against Russia by G7 nations, after a barrage of Russian missiles hit targets across Ukraine earlier in the day.
“We need a powerful air defense — modern, fully effective. Which can ensure complete protection against these missiles. We talk about this every day with our partners. There are already some agreements. And partners need to move faster if they are really partners, not observers,” he said.
“Delays in the transfer of weapons to our state, any restrictions are actually an invitation for Russia to strike again and again.”
Leaders of the G7 economic powers are set to commit themselves to the long haul in supporting Ukraine as they meet in the German Alps and confer again by video link with Zelensky.
They will begin Monday’s session of their three-day summit with a focus on Ukraine. Later, they will be joined by the leaders of five democratic emerging economies — India, Indonesia, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina — for a discussion on climate change, energy and other issues.
US President Joe Biden and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right, chat as they gather for a group photo at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, June 26, 2022. (Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP)
The war in Ukraine was already at the forefront of the G7 leaders’ minds as they opened their summit at the secluded Schloss Elmau luxury hotel on Sunday — just as Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv for the first time in weeks.
Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin “has been counting on, from the beginning, that somehow NATO and the G7 would splinter, but we haven’t and we’re not going to.” Britain’s Boris Johnson warned the leaders not to give in to “fatigue.”
On Monday, they have the opportunity to demonstrate that unity to Zelensky and reaffirm their commitment to supporting Kyiv financially and otherwise.
Biden hopes to use his trip to Europe to proclaim the unity of the coalition pressing to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine as much as he is urging allies to do even more — seeking to counter doubts about its endurance as the war grinds into its fifth month.
The summit’s host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said last week that he wants to discuss the outlines of a “Marshall plan for Ukraine” with his G7 counterparts, referring to the US-sponsored plan that helped revive European economies after World War II.
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