US Airman loading ammunition onto a commercial plane bound for Ukraine 21072022 CREDIT US Dept of Def.jpg
Officials said the new commitments were intended to show America's unwavering support for Ukraine (Picture: US Department of Defense).
USA

US announces new $2bn military aid for Ukraine and Europe

US Airman loading ammunition onto a commercial plane bound for Ukraine 21072022 CREDIT US Dept of Def.jpg
Officials said the new commitments were intended to show America's unwavering support for Ukraine (Picture: US Department of Defense).

The US has announced major new military aid of more than $2bn for Ukraine and other European countries threatened by Russia.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration would provide $2bn in long-term military assistance to Ukraine and 18 of its neighbours, including NATO members and regional security partners "most potentially at risk for future Russian aggression".

This is on top of a $675m US package of heavy weaponry, ammunition and armoured vehicles for Ukraine that Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced at a conference in Germany.

Last month, President Joe Biden announced that he was sending $2.98bn in military aid to Ukraine that would enable forces there to fight for years to come.

The latest contributions would bring total US aid to Ukraine to $15.2bn since the administration took office.

Officials said the new commitments were intended to show that American support for the country in the face of Russia's invasion was unwavering.

The announcements came as fighting between Ukraine and Russia has intensified in recent days, with Ukrainian forces mounting a counteroffensive to retake Russian-held areas in the south and east.

It also comes a day after shelling continued near Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, with the warring sides trading blame again amid dire warnings from the UN atomic watchdog for the creation of a safe zone to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

"Unprecedented security assistance"

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said during the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, that the US has "committed unprecedented security assistance" "to help Ukraine defend its territory".

Mr Austin added: "The United States has swiftly delivered a broad range of capabilities including stinger anti-aircraft systems, armoured personal carriers, grenade launchers, Mi-17 helicopters, body armour and millions of rounds of small arms munitions."

Also, On Wednesday, the US accused Moscow of interrogating, detaining and forcibly deporting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to Russia.

Russian officials immediately rejected the claim as "fantasy".