By Mike Stone
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s administration will announce $200 million of new weapons aid for Ukraine as soon as Tuesday, U.S. officials told Reuters, as it begins to dole out $6.2 billion of funds discovered after a Pentagon accounting error over-valued billions of Ukraine aid, two U.S. officials said on Monday.
In May, the Pentagon announced it had mistakenly assigned a higher-than-warranted value to the U.S. weaponry shipped to Kyiv when staff used “replacement value” instead of “depreciated value” to tabulate the billions worth ammunition, missiles and other equipment sent to Ukraine.
Ukraine needs weaponry that can be shipped from U.S. stocks in a matter of days or weeks so it can keep up its fight to repel Russia’s invasion – the accounting error worked to Kyiv’s benefit because more equipment can be sent.
Beginning to use these discovered funds is significant because they represent the last of the previously congressionally authorized $25.5 billion worth of Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) the administration can utilize to ship weapons from U.S. stocks in the event of an emergency, the U.S. officials said.
Washington is currently working on a supplemental budget request to continue to aid Kyiv, the U.S. officials said.
Tuesday’s expected announcement of $200 million would be the first tranche of the $6.2 billion windfall of previously authorized Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), the officials said.
Included in this package were items like mine clearing equipment, TOW and AT4 anti-tank weapons, guns and ammunition, air defense interceptors made by Lockheed Martin Corp for the Patriot system, Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets and Javelin anti-tank missiles made by a joint venture between Lockheed and RTX Corp, along with other equipment.
(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by David Gregorio)