"The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the struggle to defend their sovereignty. As part of that commitment, I am proud to announce our largest tranche of security assistance to this day: approximately $2.98 billion worth of weapons and equipment," Biden said in a statement.
"This will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and ammunition ... and radars to ensure that it can continue to defend itself in the long term," said added the American president.
"I know that this Independence Day brings mixed feelings to many Ukrainians, as thousands of people have been killed or injured, millions have been displaced and so many more have been victims of atrocities and attacks. But six months of relentless attacks have only heightened the pride Ukrainians have in themselves, their country and their 31 years of independence,” he said.
The commemoration of Ukraine's independence coincides with the anniversary of six months of conflict since the Russian invasion on February 24.
This new tranche of aid is exclusively composed of armaments ordered from the American defense industry which will only reach Ukraine in several months, even two or three years, underlined a senior Pentagon official.
It is intended to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities in the medium term, not to help Ukrainian forces in their current counter-offensive efforts, as was the case with the latest tranche of aid announced last week. , explained to the press the number three of the American Department of Defense, Colin Kahl.
- Putin "is wrong" -
"Vladimir Putin seems to believe that Russia can win over time, wear down the will to fight of the Ukrainians and the will of the international community to continue to support Ukraine", he remarked. This new installment "is a tangible sign that once again, Russia is wrong".
"The United States has now released more than $13.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine since Mr. Biden's term began," Kahl said.
"To our knowledge, Vladimir Putin has not given up on his strategic goal of taking over Ukraine," he added. "That's why aid tranches like this are so important: they challenge Putin's theory that we're not here for the duration."
Washington will thus order for the Ukrainian forces more than 300,000 shells compatible with NATO artillery systems, radars, but also Nasams anti-aircraft defense systems, surveillance drones and above all, for the first time, latest-generation Vampire anti-drone defense systems, which allow an approaching drone to be destroyed with precision-guided missiles.
Last week, the United States announced a new tranche of military aid to Ukraine in the amount of $775 million, intended to help kyiv launch a counter-offensive in the south just as Russian forces appeared weakened.
This aid included in particular additional missiles for the American Himars precision artillery systems, which are not included in the envelope announced on Wednesday, because it is now that kyiv needs them, underlined Mr. Kahl.
The Himars are "most relevant to ongoing combat", he noted.
A spokesman for the White House, John Kirby, has also warned against the upcoming holding of "illegitimate" referendums in areas occupied by Russian forces, to justify an annexation of Ukrainian territories by Russia.
"The United States and the international community have been very clear: any attempt to control sovereign territory of Ukraine will be considered illegitimate," he said.