CNN
 — 

The Biden administration is expected to announce on Wednesday an additional $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine to fight Russia, according to a US official.

The package is expected to include shipments of additional howitzers, ammunition and coastal defense systems.

Speaking in Brussels, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the US and Ukraine are “working in lockstep to meet Ukraine’s requests for new capabilities, especially its need for long-range fires, armor and coastal defense.”

The latest weapons package comes as Ukraine’s military is burning through its Soviet-era ammunition, while Ukrainian officials have pleaded with the West to send additional heavy weaponry as the war with Russia girds on. Western intelligence and military officials believe the war is at a critical stage that could determine the long-term outcome of the conflict, while Russia has amassed a significant artillery advantage around two key cities in eastern Ukraine.

The package is expected to include weapons and supplies that can be quickly shipped from existing US stockpiles as well as issuing new contracts for long term supplies for Ukraine.

Austin is meeting in Brussels Wednesday with a working group of nearly 50 countries to discuss the crisis.

The US has sent a number of weapons shipments to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February, increasing the capabilities that it’s provided to Ukraine’s military as the conflict has continued. Ukrainian officials, however, have been pushing for more heavy weaponry and have expressed frustrations that munitions appear to be trickling into the fight piecemeal.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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