US providing $53M to help restore Ukraine power grid
The U.S. has announced plans to provide $53 million to Ukraine to help restore the country’s energy infrastructure amid repeated missile attacks from Russian armed forces.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the announcement during a meeting with NATO allies and Group of Seven members on Tuesday, saying that the latest equipment will be delivered on an emergency basis to help Ukrainian residents persevere throughout the winter season.
The latest supply package from the U.S. will include key equipment such as distribution transformers, circuit breakers, surge arresters, disconnectors and vehicles.
The latest aid package comes as Russian forces have focused aerial missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure as Moscow’s war on the neighboring country progresses into its 10th month.
Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said last week that Russia’s airstrikes on energy infrastructure resulted in residents losing electricity all over the country and caused temporary blackouts at power plants.
Ukrainian officials said Friday that three nuclear power plants were online again after being shut down by such Russian attacks. Petro Kotin, the head of Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-run nuclear energy company, also said on Sunday that Ukrainian officials are seeing signs that Russian forces may retreat from the Zaporizhzhia power plant, a key nuclear plant that has been the target of Russian shelling for months.
The additional assistance follows a similar investment the United States Agency for International Development announced last month that included $55 million to support repairs and maintenance of equipment such as generators and pipes that were damaged or destroyed by Russia’s attacks in an effort to restore heat to residential areas, homes and business in the country.
“We will continue to identify additional support with allies and partners, and we are also helping to devise long-term solutions for grid restoration and repair, along with our assistance for Ukraine’s effort to advance the energy transition and build an energy system decoupled from Russian energy,” the State Department said in a statement.