The package of military assistance will include anti-tank missiles and more of the defensive weapons that the US has already been providing, including Javelin anti-tank and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, officials familiar with the plans said. The assistance, however, will stop short of the no-fly zone
or fighter jets that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said are necessary to sustain Ukraine’s fight against Russia.
News of the additional assistance, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal
, comes as the White House continues to face intense pressure from Congress and Zelensky to find new ways to aid Ukraine. The Ukrainian President, who remains in his country, will address US members of Congress
remotely at 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday, where he is expected to renew his calls for more assistance.
Biden will deliver his own remarks later Wednesday.
Given that Zelensky is expected to be specific in his requests, officials say to also expect Biden to be specific about what assistance the new $800 million will go toward in Ukraine, including potentially the armed drones that Zelensky has called for.
Officials have declined to confirm whether armed drones will be included in Biden’s remarks or whether a decision was finalized.
The $800 million in security assistance comes from the massive spending bill
the President signed into law on Tuesday, which includes $13.6 billion total in new aid to Ukraine.
The Biden administration will look to get these hundreds of millions in new aid to Ukraine as quickly as possible, with the President noting Tuesday that it is becoming “exceedingly difficult” to get new supplies into Ukraine, though they are still able to do so.
In a sign of the speed with which US officials are looking to move the aid, the administration has sent about $300 million of the $350 million Biden recently authorized
for Ukraine in a little over two weeks.
As Russia’s invasion has raged on, Zelensky has pressured Biden and NATO to do more, expressing frustrations over Western allies’ concerns about provoking Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Tuesday, the Ukrainian leader called Article 5
, the principle that enshrines that an attack on one NATO country is considered an attack on all NATO countries, “weak.”
“Some states of (the) alliance have intimidated themselves, saying that they can’t answer. That they cannot collide with Russian missiles and planes in the Ukrainian sky. Because this, they say, will lead to escalation, will lead to the third world war. … And what will they say if Russia goes further to Europe, attacking other countries? I am sure the same thing they say to Ukraine,” he said. “Article 5 of the NATO treaty has never been as weak as it is now. This is just our opinion.”
CNN’s Zachary Cohen, Natasha Bertrand, Jeremy Herb and Katie Bo Lillis contributed to this report.