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IANS

The US Department of State said in a statement that it has determined an "emergency" exists in Ukraine that becomes a "national security" concern of the United States, therefore the department bypassed Congress to approve the sale of ammunition to Kiev.

The decision to sell nearly $165 million worth of "non-standard" Soviet-era ammunition was made after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken "has determined and provided detailed justification that an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to Ukraine" of ammunition, including grenade launchers, mortars and D-20 cannons, the statement said on Tuesday.

The sale, according to the statement, is "in the national security interests of the United States, thereby waiving the Congressional review requirements" under federal law, Xinhua news agency reported.

"The proposed sale will improve Ukraine's capability to meet current and future threats by maintaining the operational readiness of its forces," the statement added.

"Ukraine already has these items, or variants thereof, in its inventory and will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces."

The announcement came just after Blinken and US Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin visited Kiev and held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Blinken notified of the arms sale.

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