WASHINGTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) – The United States is accelerating the shipment of sophisticated NASAMS air defenses to Ukraine, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday after a barrage of devastating missiles from Russia.
US President Joe Biden pledged to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy on Monday to support the country’s air defenses as residents seek cover from strikes in Kyiv.
The United States has approved the shipment to Ukraine of a total of eight National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), two of which are expected to be delivered soon and six more to be sent over a longer period.
“We think we’re on track to get those first two out there in the very near future,” Kirby said during a briefing for reporters. “We are certainly interested in expediting the delivery of NASAMS to Ukraine as soon as possible.”
The United States has provided more than $16.8 billion in security aid since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and imposed a wide range of economic sanctions on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine.
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Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, Steve Holland and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Mark Porter
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