Blinken authorizes $200M in defense aid for Ukraine following Biden request
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday announced that he had authorized $200 million in defensive assistance for Ukraine following a request from President Biden.
“I have immediately authorized today, pursuant to a delegation by the President, a fourth Presidential Drawdown of up to $200 million for additional military assistance for Ukraine’s defense,” said in a statement.
“This package will include further defensive assistance to help Ukraine meet the armored, airborne, and other threats it is facing,” he continued.
Blinken noted that the additional funds would bring the total amount of U.S. security assistance provided to Ukraine since Jan. 2021 to $1.2 billion, saying in a post on Twitter that the fourth drawdown in less than a year was “unprecedented.”
Earlier on Saturday, Biden directed Blinken to provide the defense aid, saying the secretary of state could use the funds for military training and to provide general “assistance to Ukraine and to make the determinations required.”
This comes after Congress on Thursday approved a massive government funding package that included $13.6 billion in aid tied to Ukraine.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, now extending into its third week, has met with condemnation and multiple waves of sanctions targeting Moscow from the U.S. and its allies.
“We are committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue to provide Ukraine the support it needs,” Blinken said.
“We will also continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need and to back the people of Ukraine in their fight for their country through security and economic assistance,” he continued. “The international community is united and determined to hold Putin accountable.”