Blinken, in Kyiv, released $2billion in US military aid for Europe

KYIV: United States Secretary of State Antony blinking made an unscheduled visit to Kyiv on Thursday as the Biden administration announced major new military aid worth more than $2 billion for Ukraine and other European countries threatened by Russia.
In meetings with senior Ukrainian officials, Blinken said the Biden administration would provide $2 billion in long-term foreign military funding to Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors, including NATO members and security partners in region “most potentially at risk for future Russian aggression.”
That’s more than a $675 million package of heavy weapons, ammunition and armored vehicles for Ukraine alone Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Thursday at a conference in Ramstein, Germany. That package includes howitzers, artillery ammunition, Humvees, armored ambulances, anti-tank systems and more.
Austin said “the war is at another crucial moment,” with Ukrainian forces beginning their counteroffensive in the south of the country. He said that “we are now seeing the demonstrable success of our common efforts on the battlefield.”
“The face of war is changing and so is the mission of this contact group,” Austin told the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, which was attended by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukraine’s defense minister as well of officers from the ally. countries.
Thursday’s contributions brought total US aid to Ukraine to $15.2 billion since Biden took office. US officials said the new pledges were intended to show that American support for the country in the face of Russian aggression was unwavering.
The announcements come as fighting between Ukraine and Russia has intensified in recent days, with Ukrainian forces launching a counter-offensive to retake Russian-held areas in the south and east.
Shooting continued near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, with warring sides again being blamed amid dire warnings from the UN’s atomic watchdog for the creation of a safe zone to prevent a disaster.
On Wednesday, the US accused Moscow of interrogating, detaining and forcibly deporting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to Russia. Russian officials immediately dismissed the claim as “fantasy.”