U.S. Aid Package Will Include New Air Defense Systems - White House Confirms

The White House on Monday confirmed that the new U.S. aid package will include new air defense systems...

"I can confirm that we are in fact, in the process of finalizing a package that includes advanced air defense capabilities," President Biden's National Security Advisor Sullivan told reporters, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"As [Biden] told President Zelensky, we do intend to finalize a package that includes advanced medium and long-range air defense capabilities for the Ukrainians, along with some other items that are of urgent need, including ammunition for artillery and counter-battery radar systems," Sullivan said.

Zelensky, he said, spoke with G7 Leaders about yesterday's missile attacks on Kyiv and told the G7 that he wanted "additional air defense capabilities that could shoot down missiles out of the sky."

On the discussion with Zelensky, broadly: "A lot of it was detailed and sensitive. It was a real conversation about strategy".  "What we're trying to do with this point is tailor our military assistance to the particular, immediate needs of Ukrainians on the battlefield at a given point in time."

Zelensky, Sullivan said, made clear he wants to shorten the war: "He believes that a grinding conflict is not in the interest of the Ukrainian people for obvious reasons. So he would like to see his military and those in the West who are supporting his military and making maximum use of the next few months to put Ukraine in as good a position as they can possibly be in."

On price caps, Sullivan said the delay with a final agreement by the G-7 had less to do with irresolvable issues than the novelty and complexity of the approach.

"The single biggest factor here is this is not something that can be pulled off the shelf as a tried and true method...it is a new kind of concept to deal with a particularly novel challenge, which is how to effectively deal with a country that's selling millions of barrels of oil a day."

An eventual G-7 agreement on price caps, he said, would mark "pretty dramatic step forward" and would amount to "one of the more significant outcomes of G7 summit."

Sullivan wouldn't say whether agreeing on and imposing price caps was likely to happen in a matter of weeks or months.

"There is no reason though, that if leaders come together around this, that there couldn't be relatively rapid work done on it," he said.

Looking ahead to the NATO Madrid summit, Sullivan said, U.S. was "trying to resolve as many [issues Turkey has with Finland and Sweden joining the alliance]" before and during the summit.

Asked if Biden would hold a bilat with Erdogan, Sullivan said "nothing's scheduled at the moment" but didn't rule it out. "Let's see how the next 24 hours unfold, there is activity occurring."

Finally, Sullivan said Biden and China's Xi "will have the opportunity to engage over the course of the next few weeks."

He said that "there is increasing convergence at the G7 and NATO around the challenge poses" but that "competition does not mean confrontation."

"We're not looking to divide the world into rival blocks and make every country choose," he said. "We want to stand for a set of principles that are fair to everybody. And we want to ensure that we're working with like-minded partners to hold China accountable to adhere to those rules."

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C.

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