U.S. President Joe Biden has approved a new $60 mln security assistance package for Ukraine that included Javelin shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles, announced during a meeting with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in Washington.
“Ukraine and the United States have a similar value system and the strong commitment to the fulfillment of a promise … and that is a Europe whole, free, and at peace,” Biden said in Oval Office remarks with Zelensky on Sept. 1.
The White House announced on Friday that Biden planned to provide Ukraine with $60 mln in military aid. Ukraine received $350 mln in military aid in 2017 and 2018, $250 mln in 2019 and $300 mln in 2020. The country obtained Javelin anti-tank systems after the Trump administration had approved the sale of lethal weapons to Kyiv.
The meeting comes one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and his Ukranian counterpart signed a new defense cooperation deal at the Pentagon aimed at improving Ukraine’s military institutions and capabilities. Ukraine, the largest democracy in Eastern Europe, has been occupied and engaged in conflict with Russian-backed separatists for eight years following the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014. Since then, the United States has provided $2.5 billion in security assistance.
“We again call on Russia to end its occupation of Crimea and to stop perpetuating the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and we will continue to stand with you in the face of this Russian aggression,” Austin said in his welcoming remarks, during Zelensky’s and Ukrainian Defense Minister Andrii Taran’s visit to the Pentagon.