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Blinken vows aid to Ukraine ‘on track’ amid ‘brutal Russian attack’ in northeast

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in kyiv on Wednesday $2 billion in new funding for Ukraine to be used to facilitate the delivery of weapons and fuel future investments in Ukraine’s defense industrial base.

The funding will come from the $60 billion in supplemental security funding recently passed by Congress, as well as $400 million in previously approved foreign military financing funds that have not yet been allocated, the Department of Defense said. ‘State.

Blinken, noting that this was his fifth trip to Ukraine and his fourth to kyiv, promised during a news conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba that the United States would support the Ukraine until it achieves “strategic success”, both in helping Ukrainian forces meet their battlefield commitments and in allowing Ukrainians to determine their own future.

His visit comes amid deteriorating combat conditions in the north and east of the country, where Russian forces have recently advanced and intensified attacks on Ukraine’s Kharkiv region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced he would cancel all upcoming foreign trips as the country’s military forces withdrew from several nearby villages.

“We’re rushing munitions, armored vehicles, missiles, air defenses, rushing them to get to the front lines, to protect the soldiers, to protect the civilians,” Blinken said, emphasizing that the air defenses for which Ukraine implored his supporters were a “top priority.” “.

Blinken said the United States was one of 32 countries actively negotiating a bilateral security agreement with kyiv and that he expected its terms to be finalized in the coming weeks.

Asked whether the Biden administration’s conditions specifying that U.S. weapons could only be used for defensive, not offensive, purposes had crippled Kiev before Russia’s assault on Kharkiv, Blinken said the U.S. United had “neither encouraged nor permitted” strikes outside Ukraine, but that ultimately Ukraine “must make its own decisions about how it is going to fight this war.”

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