US will stand with Ukraine “as long as it takes”: Blinken
12 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
The US announced last month that it will send Ukraine USD 350 million in weapons and equipment as the battle for control of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut with Russian forces continues.
US State Secretary Antony Blinken spoke with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to stand by Kiev ” for as long as it takes,” according to the US State Department.
“Secretary Blinken underscored Ukraine’s success as vital to peace and security in Europe and reiterated the United States’ commitment to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” said Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel in a statement on Tuesday (local time). According to Patel, the two leaders discussed ongoing preparations for Ukraine’s spring offensive, including security assistance pledges from allies and partners.
Taking to Twitter, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister also shared the same information, “During our call today, @SecBlinken reaffirmed the ironclad U.S. support and vehemently rejected any attempts to cast doubt on Ukraine’s capacity to win on the battlefield. The U.S. remains Ukraine’s trustworthy partner, focused on advancing our victory and securing a just peace.”
Since Russia launched its special military operation on February 24, 2022, the US has been assisting Ukraine. The US announced last month that it will send Ukraine USD 350 million in weapons and equipment as the battle for control of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut with Russian forces continues.
“Today, pursuant to a delegation of authority from President Biden, I am authorizing our 34th drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine valued at USD 350 million,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement issued by the US State Department on Monday.
“This military assistance package includes more ammunition for US-provided HIMARS and howitzers that Ukraine is using to defend itself, as well as ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons, riverine boats, and other equipment,” the statement read.
The US applauds the more than 50 countries that have banded together to support Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to the statement.
“This week, as Russia’s unconscionable war of aggression against Ukraine continues at a great human cost, we are again reminded of the boundless courage and steadfast resolve of the Ukrainian people, and the strong support for Ukraine across the international community,” Blinken said.
He added: “Russia alone could end its war today. Until Russia does, we will stand united with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
Meanwhile, according to a statement released by the US Defense Department, the US announced a new security package plan in February, including authorisation of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to USD 425 million, as well as USD 1.75 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds.
The package included USD 425 million from existing Defense Department stockpiles as well as USD 1.75 billion from Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds. Since Russia began its military operation in Ukraine in February, the country has received USD 29.3 billion.