- The Washington Times - Monday, June 27, 2022

The U.S. will send medium- and long-range air missile defense systems to Ukraine in the next aid package, which could be announced as soon as this week, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday.

Mr. Sullivan said President Biden, who is in Germany for a summit with Group of Seven leaders, has already made the pledge to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“I can confirm that we are in fact, in the process of finalizing a package that includes advanced air defense capabilities,” Mr. Sullivan told reporters in Europe. “As [Mr. Biden] told President Zelenskyy, we do intend to finalize a package that includes advanced medium- and long-range air defense capabilities for the Ukrainians, along with some other items that are of urgent need, including ammunition for artillery and counter-battery radar systems.”

Mr. Biden last month promised that the U.S. would provide Ukraine with “more advanced rocket systems and munition” as it tries to fend off Russian invaders.

Speaking with reporters, Mr. Sullivan said Mr. Zelenskyy spoke to the G-7 leaders about Sunday’s missile attacks on Kyiv and he requested “additional air defense capabilities that could shoot down missiles out of the sky.”

“What we’re trying to do with this point is tailor our military assistance to the particular, immediate needs of Ukrainians on the battlefield at a given point in time,” Mr. Sullivan said.

In recent weeks, the U.S. has been increasing its military aid to Ukraine as its war with Russia grinds on. The Biden administration last week announced an additional $450 million in military assistance for Ukraine, including four more multiple launch rocket systems and artillery ammunition for other systems.

Earlier this month, the administration approved an additional $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine through a package that includes more howitzers, ammunition and coastal defense systems.

Mr. Sullivan said the delay in reaching a final agreement with other G-7 leaders is due to the complexity of the issue.

The G-7 leaders are mulling a proposed cap on the price of Russian oil to slash Moscow’s revenue it is using to finance its war in Ukraine.

The move has some support but has also hit some snags during the three-day summit, and Mr. Sullivan wouldn’t say if a deal would likely happen within weeks or months.

An eventual G-7 agreement on price caps, Mr. Sullivan said, would mark “a pretty dramatic step forward” and would amount to “one of the more significant outcomes of the [G-7] summit.”

“The single biggest factor here is this is not something that can be pulled off the shelf as a tried and true method. … It is a new kind of concept to deal with a particularly novel challenge, which is how to effectively deal with a country that’s selling millions of barrels of oil a day,” Mr. Sullivan said. 

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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