"On January 19, the Department notified Congress of its intent to deliver five Mi-17 helicopters currently held in DoD inventories to Ukraine under the Excess Defense Articles program," the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said, citing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
Read more: Ukrainian Armed Forces Conducts Military Drill Near Crimea Amid Threat of Russian Invasion
"In identifying additional equipment held in Department of Defense inventories that can be delivered [to Ukraine] under the Excess Defense Articles program, among other mechanisms, we recently notified Congress of our intent to deliver Mi-17 helicopters," Psaki said.
She recalled that "the United States has delivered more security assistance to Ukraine in the last year than any point in history."
"In the last year alone, we committed $650 million in security assistance to Ukraine; in total, since 2014, we've committed $2.7 billion. These deliveries are ongoing, including today there's more deliveries coming. In addition to traditional security assistance, such as the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, the President has authorized the presidential drawdown authority to expedite lethal aid and meet Ukraine's emergency defense needs," Psaki said.
The first batch of security assistance from the United States arrived at Kyiv's Boryspil Airport on January 22 as part of a package worth a total of $200 million. This is the first of several batches under the security assistance package to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which President Biden approved in December 2021.
The Mi-17 is a Russian helicopter that the US originally purchased to give to the Afghans. The Pentagon is now weighing what to do with them after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.
As Defense Express reported earlier, Ukrainian and US intelligence indicates Russia preparing operation to justify invasion of Ukraine. At the same time USA approves additional $200 mln in security aid to Ukraine and together with NATO alliance members working over supplying Stinger missiles to Ukraine in addition to the American military assistance that is already flowing to Kyiv.
Read more: UK Sends 2,000 Anti-tank Missiles, 30 Elite Troops to Ukraine Amid Heightened Tensions with Russia