The US announced a new package of long-term security assistance for Ukraine on Friday, marking the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion with a $2 billion commitment to send more rounds of ammunition and a variety of small, high-tech drones into the fight.
The announcement by the Department of Defense comes just days after President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to Kyiv and pledged America’s continuing commitment to Ukraine.
Biden told President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that “Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.”
In a statement Friday, the Pentagon said the aid includes weapons to counter Russia’s unmanned systems and several types of drone, including the upgraded Switchblade 600 Kamikaze drone, as well as electronic warfare detection equipment.
It also includes money for additional ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, artillery rounds and munitions for laser-guided rocket systems. But, in an unusual move, the Pentagon provided no details on how many rounds of any kind will be bought.
The US calls on the world to “recommit to supporting Ukraine”
Including this latest package, the US has now committed more than $32 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement that the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion is a chance for all who believe in freedom ‘to recommit ourselves to supporting Ukraine´s brave defenders for the long haul – and to recall that the stakes of Russia´s war stretch far beyond Ukraine.’
On Friday, Biden was scheduled to meet virtually with other Group of Seven leaders and Zelensky ‘to continue coordinating our efforts to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its war,’ the White House said.
Those efforts include what the White House called ‘sweeping’ sanctions on over 200 people and entities ‘to further degrade Russia´s economy and diminish its ability to wage war against Ukraine.’ The Biden administration will also further restrict exports to Russia and raise tariffs on some Russian products imported to the U.S.
The White House statement released Friday also said, ‘G7 countries will continue to keep Russia´s sovereign assets immobilized until there is a resolution to the conflict that addresses Russia´s violation of Ukraine´s sovereignty and integrity.’
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