The weapons include highly sought-after American anti-aircraft weapon systems from Latvia and Lithuania that would help Ukraine fend off Russian aircraft that some officials and experts say would pave the way for the early stages of a Russian invasion. Estonia has received permission to transfer Javelin anti-tank guided missile systems, which the United States has supplied to Ukraine in the past.
It’s unclear when the weapons will arrive in Ukraine, the senior administration official said, the timing – as well as the price for Ukraine – would depend on which countries received approval.
The Biden administration is also working to transfer five Russian-made helicopters to Ukrainian control, the same official said. A notification was sent to Congress for the helicopters, the Mi-17s, which are already in Ukraine for maintenance after being withdrawn from Afghanistan during the withdrawal there.
The State Department cited close coordination with European countries and Ukraine when asked about the transfer of export licenses.
“European allies have what they need to move forward with additional security assistance to Ukraine in the days and weeks ahead,” a State Department spokesperson said. “We are in close contact with our Ukrainian partners and our NATO allies on this matter, and are using all available security cooperation tools at our disposal, including expediting authorized transfers of equipment from U.S. origin from other allies and partners through our third-party transfer process and excess Defense Items from DoD inventories, among other mechanisms.”
Earlier this week, Blinken visited Ukraine where Ukrainian officials thanked him for US security assistance. But the Ukrainians have also regularly sought additional military support.
This story has been updated.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.