AThe 120 mm ammunition is intended for the US Abrams main battle tanks and is part of a new tranche of military aid destined for Kiev in the amount of 175 million dollars (163 million euros), the Pentagon said in a statement.

The decision comes after months of debate over the deployment of this type of ammunition, which should be highly effective against Russian tanks.

The use of depleted uranium munitions, which have a higher piercing capacity, has been a controversial issue due to its potential impacts on health and the environment.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that with the package announced today, which also includes support material for the Ukrainian air defense system and munitions for HIMARS artillery systems, Washington is “very focused” in helping Ukraine succeed in the counter-offensive against Russia.

Depleted uranium munitions, he added, are “heavier” than normal artillery and “very effective” against tanks.

“We want to ensure that the Ukrainians can be as effective as possible in this counter-offensive and we believe that depleted uranium munitions will help them in that regard,” Kirby said at a press conference.

The spokesperson for the National Security Council noted that “many armies use depleted uranium munitions, not just the United States”: “I would add Russia as well.”

“There is no major controversy here, except the one Russia is trying to create. (…) It is an effective ammunition on the battlefield and does not pose a radioactive threat to the people”, argued Kirby.

Already in March, after the UK admitted plans to supply Kiev with depleted uranium ammunition, Russia warned of the risk of radioactive contamination and indicated that it would be forced to react if Ukraine used this type of weapon.

The Pentagon said in its statement that the package announced today is the 46th that the Joe Biden administration has provided to Ukraine from the US Department of Defense inventories since August 2021.

“The United States will continue to work with its allies and partners to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and long-term security needs,” he concluded.

The military offensive launched on February 24, 2022 by Russia in Ukraine caused, according to the latest UN data, the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War (1939-1945).

The Russian invasion – justified by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, with the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security – was condemned by the international community in general, which has responded by sending arms to Ukraine and imposing Russia from political and economic sanctions.

[Notícia atualizada às 19h31]

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