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US Department of State Daily Press Briefing, 2 Feb
QUESTION: Thank you. Today 27 senators, both Democratic and Republican, sent a letter to President Biden asking him to not approve the sale of F-16 until Türkiye agrees to let the Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Do you share the same position with the sale of those? Can you explain to us, since the technical talks have been concluded, why you are delaying to send the official - the formal notification to the Congress?
PRICE: ...We've made clear to Congress our support for the F-16s. Congress has made its position clear, or I should say individual senators - or groups of senators, in some cases - have made their positions clear. We're continuing to engage Türkiye. We're continuing to engage the Hill. But our point is that Türkiye is a valuable NATO Ally. It's role in the Alliance has been a profoundly important one over the course of decades now. And so we'll continue to find ways to see to it that we can work together with Türkiye, even as we seek to make the NATO Alliance even stronger. And we think making the NATO Alliance stronger would entail bringing the membership from 30 to 32.
QUESTION: Thank you. Russian media - state media - are citing a comment made by Under Secretary Nuland [?] in an Al Jazeera ["- state media -"] interview. And the comment is that, and I quote, "The U.S. is working to meet Ukraine's needs, including long-range missiles." Is the U.S. considering giving Ukraine long-range missiles?
PRICE: You know we don't preview security assistance announcements that have not yet been made, but what I can say generally is that we are always in conversation with our Ukrainian partners.[...]So these are conversations that are ongoing on multiple fronts when it comes to the needs of our Ukrainian partners, but I don't have anything to announce or to preview.
AP | US to send Ukraine longer-range bombs in latest turn[-]around, 2 Feb non-party status
After months of agonizing [28.11.23], the U.S has agreed to send longer-range bombs to Ukraine as it prepares to launch a spring offensive [read: defensive] to retake territory Russia captured last year, U.S. officials said Thursday [2 Feb], confirming that the new weapons will have roughly double the range of any other offensive weapon provided by America.
The U.S. [DOD] package includes $425 million in ammunition and support equipment that will be pulled from existing Pentagon stockpiles and $1.75 billion in new funding through the [FY2022, FY2023] Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which is used to purchase new weapons from industry. The assistance initiative, which will pay for the longer-range bombs and the air defense system integration, also funds two HAWK [howitzer] air defense systems, anti-aircraft guns and ammunition, and counter-drone systems
The addition of longer-range bombs to the latest aid package was first reported by Reuters.

by Cat on Fri Feb 3rd, 2023 at 12:46:34 PM EST
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