Situation in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken announced new $1 billion aid package to Ukraine

by teleSUR

U.S. Department of State announced US$1 billion in new aid for Ukraine on Wednesday while Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a surprise visit to Kiev to show support.

The State Department said that the new package includes an additional drawdown of up to US$175 million worth of weapons and equipment from the Department of Defense’s inventories.

What’s notable among the capabilities in this round of security assistance is the 120mm depleted uranium tank ammunition for Abrams tanks, according to a list issued by the Pentagon. This is the first time Washington sends Kiev this type of ammunition, which is radioactive.

Also in the package are air defense system components, Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems for HIMARS, munitions, ammunition, and communications systems.

The United States also committed US$100 million through the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing program to support Ukraine’s longer-term military requirements.

Regarding humanitarian assistance, a total of US$206 million will go toward providing critical support including water, food, and shelter for those in Ukraine or fleeing the country due to the conflict with Russia. There will be US$90.5 million in humanitarian assistance for the specific purpose of demining.

Following the recent corruption scandals in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry that saw the replacement of the country’s defense minister, the U.S. also provided a US$203-million funding “for support to transparency and accountability of institutions, bolstering key reform efforts related to anti-corruption, rule of law and the justice sector,” the State Department said.

For the first time, the United States in this aid package transferred US$5.4 million it seized from Russian oligarchs “to support veteran reintegration and rehabilitation” in Ukraine, the department said. The transfer of the assets was authorized by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in May.

The above announcement came on the same day Blinken made an unannounced visit to Kiev in a show of support. It is the most high-profile visit by a U.S. official to Ukraine since President Joe Biden visited in February.

While in Kiev, Blinken met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba.

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