In an effort to help Ukrainian forces against the Russian invasion, the United States is preparing to offer another $800 million military assistance package to Ukraine, senior administration officials and sources told CNN.
President Joe Biden was asked by reporters in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Tuesday if the U.S. is planning to send more artillery to Ukraine, which he replied, "Yes."
The additional $800 million package, pending approval, would bring the U.S.'s contribution to about $3.4 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since the invasion began on Feb. 24.
The Biden administration had already approved a $800 million military package last week, including "artillery and anti-artillery radars for the first time since the Russian invasion began."
More than 50 million rounds of ammunition have already been provided by the U.S. to Ukraine in their fight against Russia, according to CNBC. Additionally, more than 100,000 U.S. troops have been deployed to NATO-member countries for security assistance.
If the U.S. plans to offer more military assistance packages in the future, then Congress would need to approve of it. The administration has been using a presidential drawdown to offer Ukraine assistance, in which weapons and equipment are taken from U.S. inventories by the Department of Defense and then sent to Ukraine.
New weapons are not being purchased and then sent to Ukraine.
The goal is to get Ukraine the package as quickly as possible. One of the senior administration officials told CNN that, "they believe the war is in a critical stage and the continued US assistance could make a difference when Russia's more aggressive assault on Eastern Ukraine ramps up."
One senior administration official said that the military assistance package could be approved within 36 hours, while another said it could happen within the coming days. The size of the package could also change at any time during the approval process.