US quietly authorized another $200 million in military aid to Ukraine: media

Ukrainians

US President Joseph Biden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Collage: Ukrainska Pravda 

International

The Biden Administration has quietly authorized an additional $200 million in military aid for Ukraine in late December, according to CNN, citing numerous unnamed sources.

This authorization came just a few weeks ago amid the Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian borders ongoing since last fall, and in the lead-up to the US-Russia security talks in Geneva, which took place on 10 January.

According to CNN sources, the aid package included defense equipment that the United States has already supplied in the past, including small arms and ammunition, secure communications systems, medical equipment, spare parts.

As of mid-December, the United States had provided more than $450 million in security assistance to Ukraine, according to European Pravda.

The 2022 US defense budget provides for the allocation of $300 million to Kyiv as part of an initiative to provide assistance to Ukraine in the field of security, in particular, in order to support the Ukrainian armed forces.

The EU and many of its member countries also provide support to Ukraine. In early December, the EU announced that it would provide Ukraine with EUR 31 million to strengthen the country’s defense capabilities. On 10 January, Lithuania planned to increase its military aid to Ukraine, while Estonia announced earlier its intentions to supply sophisticated weapon systems to Ukraine.

The US-Russia security meeting was held on the territory of the US Mission to the UN Office in Geneva in a closed format on 10 January, the talks lasted almost 8 hours. First Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman headed the US delegation, while the chiefs of the Russian delegation were Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin.

During the talks in Geneva with the US delegation, Russia put forward principled demands, without which it deems the possible progress with other issues unlikely. All of those conditions are about the so-called “security guarantees” and the Alliance’s activities in the territory of member countries that joined NATO after 1997.

The United States has rejected Russia’s security propositions, including the demands not to admit Ukraine to NATO.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that highly effective economic sanctions will be imposed against Russia should it further invade Ukraine. Later, the UK also warned Russia that Britain was ready for sanctions in case of the Russian incursion in Ukraine.

Ahead of planned meetings of the US and NATO with Russia, Ukrainians worldwide joined the rally Say No to Putin, demanding leaders of the West say a clear “No” to Putin’s empire and his imperial policy both by words and actions.

Ahead of Russia-U.S. talks, worldwide rally demands “a clear no to Putin’s imperial policy”

The armed conflict in Ukraine’s easternmost historical region of the Donbas made up of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts started in 2014 soon after Russia’s invasion and annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula. Since its beginning, the war claimed more than 13,000 lives and displaced almost 2 million people. Russia keeps denying its involvement in the conflict. The occupied territories of two Ukrainian regions are officially known as ORDLO or Certain Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.

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