US pledges another $2 billion in military aid to Ukraine

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announces new funding in Kyiv

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a news conference in Kyiv. Bloomberg
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The US will send an additional $2 billion in military aid to Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in Kyiv on Wednesday, as Russia makes gains in its invasion.

Mr Blinken called the package a “first of its kind” that will consist of three parts. The first tranche will be used to provide weapons immediately, the second will be used to invest in “Ukraine’s defence industrial base” and the final part will be used to help Ukraine purchase weapons from other countries.

“We will provide an additional $2 billion in foreign military financing for Ukraine,” Mr Blinken said.

The latest aid comes after the US Congress passed a long-delayed $61 billion military package. It took Republican legislators months to agree to the funding.

While US politicians locked heads over whether or not to resupply Ukraine, Russia made significant gains, reversing some of Ukraine’s biggest victories from 2022.

“Every delay in supplies results in setbacks on the front line,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at a press conference alongside Mr Blinken.

Russian troops are now trying to take back Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv.

Mr Blinken’s surprise trip to Ukraine, his fourth since the Russian invasion began in February 2022, comes as Washington tries to reassure its European ally that it has the support to continue its fight.

“The newest support that I just announced, but particularly the $60 billion supplemental, we know is coming at a critical time,” Mr Blinken said.

“Ukraine is facing this renewed brutal Russian onslaught.”

In a speech on Tuesday, Mr Blinken told Ukrainians that they are “not alone” in their war.

A lifelong music lover and skilled guitarist, Mr Blinken joined Ukrainian rock band 1999 for a rendition of Canadian musician Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World on Tuesday night as part of a charm offensive to convince Ukrainians that the US and its allies remain staunchly behind them.

Updated: May 15, 2024, 2:47 PM