Biden Approves Sending 2nd Patriot System To Ukraine Ahead Of G7

By TYLER DURDEN – Zerohedge

“We’re going to continue to drive up costs for the Russian war machine,” White House spokesman John Kirby has said as President Biden departs for meetings with Group of Seven leaders in Italy.

The Thursday through Saturday meeting will focus in large part on unveiling new sanctions and export controls against Moscow, particularly the expected widening of sanctions on the sale of semiconductor chips for Russia, but also targeting third parties in China that deal with Russia.

Additionally the US will press allies on a plan to use frozen Russian assets to generate profits for Ukraine’s defense. “We will announce new steps to unlock the value of the immobilized Russian sovereign assets to benefit Ukraine and to help them recover from the destruction that Mr. Putin’s army has caused,” Kirby previewed additionally Tuesday.

The proposal involves utilizing future interest on nearly $300 billion of frozen Russian central bank funds to back a $50 billion loan to Ukraine, which can be used for arms, defense, infrastructure, and rebuilding.

During the summit of the world’s wealthiest democracies (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, US, and with the EU a “non-enumerated member”), Biden will also meet with Ukraine’s Zelensky, where more US weapons for Kiev will be unveiled, especially the deployment of another Patriot missile system for Ukraine.

The NY Times details that “The new Patriot system — the second that the United States has sent to Ukraine — will come from Poland, where it has been protecting a rotational force of American troops who will be returning to the United States, officials said.”

“The system could be deployed to Ukraine’s front lines in the next several days, U.S. officials said, depending on any maintenance or modifications it needs,” the report adds.

Biden is also expected to seek to assure Zelensky that Washington is staying firmly behind his government for the long haul. However, as the Times also points out, significant political change is looming over Europe amid a general war-weariness and perhaps greater willingness to pursue peaceful settlement with Russia:

Now, Europe is bracing for the possibility that former President Donald J. Trump, who has spoken openly of pulling out of NATO, could be back in power by the time the group next meets, in 2025. And several of the leaders present — including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain and President Emmanuel Macron of France — are facing elections that could redefine Europe.

Interestingly, the Pentagon has remained reluctant to provide more Patriot batteries, especially ones that would have to be moved from defending US soil, or else batteries currently in vital hotspots.

“With tensions rising on the Korean Peninsula, moving any Patriot batteries from defending against a possible North Korean attack was also deemed too risky, officials said,” NYT notes. The Israel-Gaza conflict is also a major concern.

“Pentagon officials did not want to move any batteries from the United States,” the report emphasizes. “There is a Patriot battery at Fort Sill, Okla., for training American and Ukrainian troops, but moving it would take away training, officials said. Other batteries protecting bases and troops in the United States, including in Hawaii, were either deemed too far away or necessary for homeland defense.”

This shows a greater pragmatism that is apparently on the rise among America’s generals and the defense establishment. Perhaps it’s also the result of the realization that Ukraine cannot ‘win’ under the current circumstances of the ongoing manpower and ammo crisis.

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