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Blinken announces $2B in additional aid to Ukraine

The United States will provide Ukraine with $2 billion in foreign military financing, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday at a joint press conference in Kyiv alongside Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Agencies and A News WORLD
Published May 15,2024
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba (R) shake hands before a joint news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, 15 May 2024. (EPA Photo)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said the U.S. would provide an additional $2 billion in military assistance to Ukraine.

Washington has been working "to ensure that Ukraine can deliver on the battlefield," Blinken said at a news conference following a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Pointing out that Kyiv would be receiving more military assistance from the U.S. after Congress passed supplemental funding in late April, he said: "Today, I want to add to that by announcing that we will provide an additional $2 billion in foreign military financing for Ukraine."

Blinken said the money would be put in a "first-of-its-kind defense enterprise fund," set up to help Ukraine buy arms from the U.S. and other nations and invest in its own military-industrial base.

He said the U.S. and Ukraine continue to work on a security agreement, which he said could be finalized "very very shortly."

For his part, Kuleba said Kyiv focused on the speed of the arms deliveries during the talks, arguing that "Russia can only be stopped by force."

Special attention was paid to the supply of Patriot systems, Kuleba said, noting that the Ukrainian and U.S. delegation "discussed literally every single system" that could potentially be supplied to Ukraine.

"Ukraine needs at least seven Patriot systems, two were needed, let's say, yesterday, to protect the Kharkiv region," he stressed, noting that the situation in the Donetsk and Kharkiv regions is the most difficult at the moment.

Sanctions against Russia, the seizure of frozen Russian assets as well as Ukraine's accession to NATO were also discussed, he said.