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tv   Washington Journal Matthew Lee  CSPAN  August 29, 2022 12:22am-12:33am EDT

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this conflict. joining us on the phone is matt lee, diplomatic writer for the associated press. he wrote the story yesterday about the u.s. sending an additional $3 billion in aid to ukraine. matthew, what is this additional aid? can you give us specifics about
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what it will include? guest: good morning. this is a package, it is going to be the largest military aid package the u.s. has sent to ukraine since the war began. they have already sent 19 separate sets of assistance totaling about $10.6 billion. but this roughly $3 billion is unlike those earlier ones. this will be focused more on medium and longer-term defensive needs ukraine has, and will continue to have, as the work continues. unlike the previous packages sent under pda, or presidential drawdown authority which is
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weapons and ammunition that come from existing pentagon stocks, a lot of this new package is going to be items that still need to be produced. so, some of the stuff is going to be a year maybe two down the line before it can be completed and sent. it will include some new drone systems, including the unusually named vampire system, which is an anti-drone, drone. a drone system used to take down other drones. as well as some new kinds of equipment they have not sent before. but this is a substantial aid package and the administration is time get not just to the six month anniversary but also to ukrainian independence day,
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which is today. host: you said some of this weaponry is one year out from being issued to ukraine. what does that tell you about the u.s.'s analysis of the conflict? guest: there is a sense among quite a few american officials that this is going to drag out, you know, over months if not years. even if it is reduced to a lower level conflict. but the sense was ukraine, while it is important for them to get their immediate needs met in terms of artillery and antitank missiles, there is also the need to prepare for the longer-term, a longer haul as the conflict
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continues. i think what they are trying to do is, while they are supplying ukraine -- not just the u.s. but other allied countries as well -- supply ukraine with what they need in the immediate term, there is also the feeling they are going to have to shift toward the long haul, the medium and further out needs ukraine will have if the russians processed. host: matthew lee, the state department morning americans to leave ukraine as they approach today's independence day of the country. how many americans did the state department say are in the country? guest: no, because they do
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not know. american citizens are not required to register with the embassy or the state department if and when they go to ukraine. at any time, there are probably several hundred at least if not several thousand. those include aid workers, those that have gone over to join or try to join the fight against russia. they are journalists, diplomats, there are potentially businessman. fast food chains have said they are going to reopen the franchises in ukraine. it is very difficult for the state department and the u.s. government in general to tell how many there are there in
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ukraine at any given time. let's remember the u.s. has been warning consistently since earlier this year if not late last year for americans to leave. but because of the convergence of these events, the six month anniversary of independence day and the car bombing outside moscow that the russians have blamed on ukraine, there is a sense that the russians may step up their attacks, particularly on civilian infrastructure and government facilities. that is what counts for this new alert. host: matthew lee, a veteran reporter of the state department. c-span viewers will know he normally gets the first question at the state department briefing. if there is a briefing today,
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what is your question? guest: [laughter] if there is a briefing today, it may not be about ukraine. the state department's role and what is going to happen today is limited. this arms shipment is going to be coming under the ukraine security assistance initiative which is part of the $40 billion package congress passed and president biden signed earlier this year. it is coming from the pentagon. this is military money. the state department will certainly put something out. it will be more, i understand, around congratulating ukraine on its independence day and stepping up the criticism of russia. we have another big, international story going on. if there is a briefing, i would
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lead the briefing with the iran nuclear negotiations. that said, this package for ukraine is significant. it is a big deal and it is extremely important. host: matthew lee, diplomatic writer with the associated press. you can follow him @ap
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