Pentagon set to send $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine once bill clears Senate, Biden

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is about to send a $1 billion military aid package to Ukraine, several U.S. officials said Tuesday as the Senate began debating long-awaited legislation to finance the weapons Kiev desperately needs to boost its profits. To delay Russian troops in the war.

The decision comes after months of frustration as bitterly divided members of Congress deadlocked over funding, forcing House Speaker Mike Johnson to put together a dramatic, bipartisan coalition to pass the bill. The $95 billion foreign aid package was passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday and Senate approval is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The votes are the result of weeks of high-voltage debates, including threats from Johnson’s hard-right faction to oust him as chairman. About $61 billion of the aid goes to Ukraine.

The package includes a range of ammunition, including air defense ammunition and large quantities of artillery shells in high demand by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as armored vehicles and other weapons. U.S. officials said some weapons will be delivered to the front very quickly — sometimes within days — but other items could take longer to arrive. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the aid has not yet been publicly announced.

The US arms injection follows an announcement from Britain on Tuesday pledging another $620 million in new military supplies for Ukraine, including long-range missiles and four million rounds of ammunition.

The announcement echoes President Joe Biden’s pledge Monday in a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which he said the U.S. would send desperately needed air defense weapons once the Senate passes the bill. Zelensky said in a message on X, formerly Twitter, that Biden also assured him that a coming aid package would also include long-range and artillery capabilities.

The $1 billion package was first reported by Reuters.