Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh called on Congress to approve additional security aid to Ukraine amid stalled negotiations over further assistance to the country in its war against Russia.
‘It is critical, as you all know, that Congress passes the president’s national security supplemental request to ensure that we can continue to support Ukraine,’ Singh said during a press briefing Thursday.
She said that further assistance to Ukraine would be a ‘smart investment’ in U.S. national security and would prevent a ‘larger war in Europe while strengthening our defense industrial base and creating skilled jobs back home here for the American people.’
Her comments after the U.S. announced Wednesday it was sending a $175 million package of military aid to Ukraine, including guided missiles for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), anti-armor systems and high-speed anti-radiation missiles.’
The aid package comes as Congress has hit a roadblock over further aid to Ukraine and Israel in its battle with Hamas.
The Biden administration’s request for a nearly $106 billion aid package has gotten bogged down by Republicans who argue the money would be better spent implementing robust security and policy changes at the border.
The $175 million aid package to Ukraine will be provided through the presidential drawdown authority (PDA), which pulls weapons from existing U.S. stockpiles and sends them quickly to the war front.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov met with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon on Wednesday.
Although the war has been static along most of its more than 600-mile front-line as wintry weather has set in, both sides have continued to launch airstrikes. Ukraine is working to keep up the pressure over the winter, to prevent Russia from solidifying battle lines.
To date, the United States has committed more than $44 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.