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Biden pledges more arms to Ukraine

Published February 20th, 2023 - 04:07 GMT
Joe Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the U.S. response to the high-altitude Chinese balloon and three other objects that were recently shot down by the U.S. military. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP

ALBAWABA - U.S. President Joe Biden vowed to dispatch more weapons to Ukraine during a surprise visit to Kyiv Monday, while his secretary of state said that the nearly one-year Russian war on the European nation underscored its resolve and buttressed support for it on the world stage.

Biden met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy days before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed details on the weapons that the United States plans to dispatch to Ukraine, saying it comes from U.S. army drawdowns in Europe.

"Today, pursuant to a delegation of authority from President Biden, I am authorizing our 32nd drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine since August 2021, valued at $450 million, which the president announced during his visit to Ukraine," Blinken said in a statement released by the U.S. State Department and emailed to Albawaba.

"This security assistance package includes more ammunition for U.S.-provided HIMARS and Howitzers that Ukraine is using so effectively to defend their country as well as more Javelins, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars," he said. 

Furthermore, he added: "I am authorizing an additional $10 million to support our ongoing efforts to provide emergency assistance to keep Ukraine’s energy infrastructure up and running in the face of Russia’s relentless missile and drone attacks."

During his whirlwind visit to Ukraine, Biden asserted Washington's stance on the Russian-Ukrainian war and discussed more support for Kyiv in its war against Russia which started on Feb. 24, 2022. 

"One year later, Kyiv stands," Biden said as he stood next to Zelenskyy at Mariinsky Palace.

The White House quoted the president as saying that he will "announce another delivery of critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars to help protect the Ukrainian people from aerial bombardments."

The State Department statement said Blinken emphasized that the United States "continues to rally the world to support Ukraine."

"We have seen incredible solidarity from our allies and partners," he said. "We applaud the more than 50 countries who have come together in solidarity with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Referring to the war's first anniversary, Blinken said: "This week, we mark one year since the Russian Government launched its brutal and unprovoked invasion against Ukraine."

"(Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin expected a quick victory, but despite inflicting widespread destruction and human suffering, he has fundamentally underestimated the boundless courage and steadfast resolve of the people of Ukraine, and the support for Ukraine in the international community," Blinken said. 

In a more somber tone, Blinken said "Russia alone could end its war today."

"Until it does so, we will stand united with Ukraine for as long as it takes to strengthen its military on the battlefield so that they will be in the strongest possible position at any future negotiating table," the secretary explained.

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