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Blinken announces over $1 billion of new Ukraine aid

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Top US diplomat Antony Blinken announced over $1 billion of new assistance to Ukraine during a visit to Kyiv Wednesday, in a package he said would help Ukraine’s counteroffensive “build momentum”.

The United States has provided Ukraine with over $40 billion of security assistance since Russia invaded last year, including weapons that Kyiv says are vital in pushing back Russian forces.

“Today, we’re announcing new assistance totalling more than $1 billion in this common effort,” Secretary of State Blinken said at a press conference with Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.

“That includes $665.5 million in new military and civilian security assistance,” he said.

He separately announced the US was working with Ukraine to find alternative routes for its grain shipments, after the collapse of the Black Sea grain export deal in July put ships at risk.

Ukraine, which has been asking for more Western help, launched a counteroffensive against Russian forces in June after building up assault battalions and stockpiling Western weapons.

It has hit back at criticism of the apparent slow pace of its offensive, as its troops encounter heavily fortified Russian defensive lines and mines.

“US assistance is not charity,” Kuleba told Blinken.

“Today, thanks to our partners, Ukraine is restraining Russia’s aggression. And we are not putting any American lives at risk,” he said.

In turn, the top US diplomat said the new assistance would help sustain the counteroffensive and “build further momentum”.

Kuleba also thanked the United States for allowing other countries to transfer their F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, which Kyiv has requested to protect its skies.

Blinken’s unexpected visit to Kyiv, his fourth since Russia’s invasion, came hours after a Russian strike on a market in the eastern region of Donetsk killed seventeen people and wounded dozens.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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