President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a new $2.98 billion security assistance package to Ukraine as the country continues to fight for its sovereignty six months after Russia’s invasion.
The massive funding package, announced on Ukraine’s independence day, will go toward weapons and equipment provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, Biden said in a statement. The package marks the United States’ shift to a longer-term strategy to equip Ukraine to fight for years to come — while earlier shipments had focused on more immediate needs for weapons or ammunition.
“This will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term,” Biden said in the statement.
Six months into Russia’s invasion, there are no signs of the war abating. Both Ukraine and Russia have seen thousands of troops killed or injured, and the United Nations estimates more than 5,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine. The State Department issued a new advisory Monday urging U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine amid fears that Russia would step up attacks on civilian infrastructure.
The aid announcement reaffirms the United States’ continued support for Ukraine, with Biden on Wednesday praising the country for standing “resolute and strong” amid Russia’s invasion. He added that the U.S. stands with the Ukrainian people “today and every day.”
“The United States, including proud Ukrainian-Americans, looks forward to continuing to celebrate Ukraine as a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous state for decades to come,” Biden said.