US Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Kyiv on Wednesday for his third trip to the Ukrainian capital since the start of the full-scale invasion of Russia, where he doubled US support for the counteroffensive of Kyiv, announcing over $1 billion in additional US aid and highlighting for a domestic audience why the United States needs to commit billions more to help defeat Vladimir Putin.
Blinken said the United States was “committed to continuing to march alongside Ukraine” during his meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, calling the country’s progress in the counteroffensive “very, very encouraging.”
Zelensky said the visit by US officials was still a “great message of support” for Ukraine, stressing that it was a “difficult time” for his country.
The top US diplomat has announced more than $1 billion in additional funding for Kiev’s war effort, as the Biden administration braces for a political fight to get more money from Congress.
“As part of the ongoing counter-offensive, progress has accelerated in recent weeks. This new aid will help maintain it and create new momentum,” Blinken said during a press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
The new package includes up to $175 million to replenish Ukrainian forces with weapons the United States has provided the country in the past, including: air defense system components, guided multiple launch rocket systems for HIMARS, munitions and communications systems, according to a State Department fact sheet. These weapons will come from Pentagon stockpiles.
Military assistance includes depleted uranium ammunition for the first time.
The assistance also includes $100 million for long-term military support, $90 million to support clearance efforts, $300 million to support law enforcement efforts, $200 million for transparency and the fight against corruption and $200 million for humanitarian aid.
Blinken also said the United States would transfer seized Russian assets to Ukraine for the first time. He did not specify the amount of these assets or the precise date of the transfer.
“Those who enabled Putin’s war of aggression should pay the price,” Blinken said.
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