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Biden announces $500M in new military aid to Ukraine during surprise visit


President Biden on Monday announced the U.S. would be providing $500 million in additional military aid to Ukraine during a surprise visit to Kyiv, and he teased new sanctions to crack down on entities aiding Russia’s war efforts in the country.

Biden, appearing alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, touted the sizable commitment of military equipment the U.S. and its allies have already provided Ukraine in the year since Russian first invaded.

“Together, we’ve committed nearly 700 tanks and thousands of armored vehicles. 1,000 artillery systems, more than 2 million rounds of artillery ammunition, more than 50 advanced launch rocket systems, anti-ship and air defense systems, all to defend Ukraine,” Biden said. “And that doesn’t count the other half a billion dollars we’re announcing with you today and tomorrow that’s going to be coming your way.”

The forthcoming announcement, Biden said, includes artillery ammunition for long-range weapons like Howitzers and HIMARS, more anti-tank javelins, more anti-armor systems and air surveillance radars to protect against aerial attacks.

Biden also highlighted a new round of sanctions to be announced later in the week targeting “elites and companies that are trying to evade sanctions and backfill Russia’s war machine.”

The president spent roughly five hours on Monday in Kyiv meeting with Zelensky and emphasizing the importance of support for Ukraine in its ongoing war against Russia, which invaded its neighbor without provocation roughly one year ago.

Biden will deliver remarks on Tuesday from Warsaw, Poland, about the war effort and the need for the U.S. and its allies to remain committed to support for Ukraine.

The U.S. has committed at least $25 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of the Biden administration, according to the Pentagon. Biden is facing pressure from Kyiv and some U.S. lawmakers to do more, however, specifically providing F16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Some Republicans in Congress have argued there needs to be a more thorough review of the aid the U.S. is providing, and some conservatives have called for the amount of assistance to be curtailed. But support for Ukraine has largely been an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort over the past year, and with narrow majorities in each chamber of Congress, that is unlikely to change.

Source: The Hill

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