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Biden’s mandate comes after a public row with Poland over sending fighter jets to Ukraine. The United States was flowing weapons to Ukraine but Refused to transport MiGsHe said that Russia would consider such an escalatory step.
However, Moscow warned on Saturday that it considered any arms shipments to Ukraine as “legitimate targets”.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia “warned the United States that the injection of weapons from a number of countries that organize them is not just a dangerous step, it is a measure that makes those convoys legitimate targets.”
Congress this week approved $13.6 billion in additional aid, including $6.5 billion for the costs of sending troops and weapons to Eastern Europe and $6.8 billion for refugees and economic aid. Biden plans to sign the extra aid spending bill when he receives it next week.
The war in Ukraine has entered its 17th day, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky saying for the first time on Saturday that an estimated 1,300 Ukrainians have been killed by Russia. Zelensky also claimed that 500-600 Russian soldiers surrendered on Friday.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said this week that weapons sent to Ukraine from America and other countries are “used to great effect.”
Kirby said the defense assessment showed that “adding aircraft to the Ukrainian stockpile is not likely to significantly change the effectiveness of the Ukrainian air force relative to Russian capabilities.”
“So we think the gains from moving those MiG-29s are low,” Kirby said.
Kyle Morris of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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