Artillery price

US, Britain and Canada pledge artillery for Ukraine

WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) – The leaders of the United States, Britain and Canada pledged on Tuesday to send more artillery weapons to Ukraine in the face of a widespread Russian assault on the east from this country.

US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acted after they and other allied leaders took part in a secure video call as the Russian invasion reached new heights phase.

Biden is expected to announce another military aid package for Ukraine in the coming days about the same size as the $800 million announced last week, multiple sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

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If the aid package is as large as expected, it would bring total US military aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February to more than $3 billion. Read more

Asked by reporters during a visit to New Hampshire if the United States would send more artillery to Ukraine, Biden said yes.

In London, Johnson told lawmakers: “It will become an artillery conflict, they need support with more artillery, that’s what we’ll give them…in addition to many other forms of support.”

Trudeau said Canada would send heavy artillery and promised to provide more details.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One that the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to providing security and economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

“We will continue to provide them with more ammunition, just as we will provide them with more military assistance,” Psaki said. She said the United States was preparing a new round of sanctions to impose on Moscow.

During their 90-minute video call, Biden and allies discussed their diplomatic commitments and coordinated efforts to impose more “serious economic costs to hold Russia accountable,” Psaki said.

They must coordinate through the G7, the European Union and NATO, she said.

Russia has seized its first city in eastern Ukraine in a new assault Ukraine has described as the Battle of Donbass aimed at taking two provinces. Read more

The United States sees Russia carrying out a “prelude” to larger offensive operations in its neighboring country’s east, a senior US official said on Tuesday. Read more

Biden’s video call from the White House Situation Room began at 9:57 a.m. EDT (1357 GMT) and ended at 11:21 a.m. EDT (1521 GMT), with Biden speaking from the White House Situation Room.

Other participants in the call included European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as well as Italian, Japanese and Polish leaders .

A French presidential adviser said the allies discussed how to provide security guarantees to Ukraine after the war if it did not become part of NATO and its automatic defense mechanism known as item 5.

“Our country is ready to provide security guarantees,” the French official said. “It would be military supplies so that he could deal with a new attack or, possibly, guarantees that would see us involved if Ukraine were attacked in a way where we could assess how to help him.

These guarantees would be more like the defense clause the European Union currently has among its members, the French official said, rather than a defense mechanism similar to NATO’s Article 5, which triggers military support automatic if a member is attacked.

The Allies also discussed the need to persuade non-EU and non-G7 countries to treat the war in Ukraine as an issue that concerns world peace and not just Europe or the West, said the French official.

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a special operation aimed at degrading the military capabilities of its southern neighbor and eliminating people it called dangerous nationalists. Ukrainian forces mounted fierce resistance and the West imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.

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Reporting by Steve Holland, Patricia Zengerle, Idrees Ali and Jeff Mason in Washington and Michel Rose in Paris; Editing by Alistair Bell and Howard Goller

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