OREANDA-NEWS  President Joe Biden has approved a new package of military aid to Ukraine worth $675mln, according to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.Austin said the package includes howitzers, artillery munitions, Humvees, armored ambulances, anti-tank systems and more. He claimed that the developments in Ukraine had reached "another key moment," urging allies to sustain the country's "brave defenders for the long haul". The Pentagon chief had been scheduled to host an in-person Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on September 8, 2022, inviting Ministers of Defense and senior military officials from around the world to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

In opening remarks at the 5th meeting of the UDCG, Austin reportedly clarified there would be an emphasis on increased munitions production across member nations - saying “national armaments directors” will be invited to join UDCGThis comes as earlier, Joe Biden outlined a request for Congress to approve a government funding bill worth $47 billion that includes additional money for what it is describing as "four critical needs," including "support for Ukraine, COVID-19, monkeypox and natural disaster recovery" as lawmakers return after the August recess.It includes $11.7 billion for additional Ukraine military and economic assistance.Since February, the United States has committed over $23 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, on top of billions delivered to the country between 2014 and 2021. The UK, Germany, Poland, and other NATO members have committed over $7 billion more.As Russia continues with its special military operation in Ukraine, launched on February 24 to liberate the Donbass region from regular attacks on the part of the Kiev regime, the US and its European allies have committed tens of billions of dollars in military and economic support for Ukraine's authorities.Moscow has warned repeatedly of the dangers of weapons shipments only serving to prolong the conflict, as well as the threat that they could wind up on the international arms black market thanks to the corruption rampant in Ukraine.