Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has confirmed the delivery of national advanced surface-to-air missile systems (NASAMS) from the US, according to media reports.
The development follows a recent announcement made by US President Joe Biden to commit $2.98bn in additional security aid under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).
The assistance is intended to help Ukraine in the long term and includes six more NASAMS with munitions and more than 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, among others.
In an interview, Zelenskiy said: “We absolutely need the United States to show leadership and give Ukraine the air defence systems.
“I want to thank President [Joe] Biden for a positive decision that has been already made. And to the US Congress, we received NASAMS.
“We need the security in order to attract our Ukrainians to come back home. If it’s safe, they will come, settle, work here, and will pay taxes, and then we won’t have a deficit of $5bn in our budget.”
Zelenskiy also thanked the US for strengthening the Ukrainian troops’ offensive stance with High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and other multiple rocket launch systems.
He said: “This should be an offensive that will result in the de-occupation of Ukrainian territories.
“Thousands of people have been killed, raped, tortured. That’s why we need this help to de-occupy our territories to make sure that more people survive.”
Earlier this month, the US Department of Defense announced an additional assistance package worth $600m to arm Ukrainians with security and defence capabilities.