US announces new security assistance for Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives a press conference. Sina Schuldt/dpa © DPA International

The US government is providing Ukraine with further military aid worth $250 million, with US funds approved to date are likely to be largely exhausted.

This is the last package this year, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday. The package primarily includes ammunition – including 15 million rounds for smaller weapons, alongside ammunition for air defence and the US HIMARS multiple rocket launcher.

“These capabilities will support Ukraine’s most pressing needs to enable its forces to defend their sovereignty and independence,” Blinken said in a statement.

It remains open how Washington’s support for Ukraine will continue, after the White House said earlier this month that it only had funds for one more military aid package for Ukraine this year.

It also stated that the funds approved so far would be used up by the end of the year.

The release of further funds is currently being blocked by a dispute in the US parliament between Republicans and Democrats.

The Republicans are standing in the way of the approval of new aid, demanding US President Joe Biden tighten domestic asylum policy in return.

It is unclear whether, how and when both parties will agree on new funding in the coming year and Biden dampened the prospects of further US aid being swiftly approved during a visit to Washington by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a fortnight ago.

Biden admitted that he could not make any promises, but was hopeful that there would be an agreement in Congress.

For now, he can try to reallocate funds from other areas to Ukraine, though this would not enable him to provide the sums that would be necessary to support Ukraine on a large scale in the long term.

The military budget passed by Congress also includes money for military aid for Ukraine, but only $300 million.

On Wednesday, Biden gave Secretary of State Antony Blinken the authority to decide whether it was important for the security interests of the US to grant Ukraine up to $20 million in aid.

Washington is Ukraine’s most important ally in the defence against the Russian invasion and has so far provided or pledged military aid totalling more than $44 billion to Kiev since the war began in February 2022.

Source: DPA International