US sends $1.3 billion to Ukraine in economic aid: Treasury

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Finance Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on June 07, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

The United States has announced the delivery of $1.3 billion in economic aid to Ukraine, as the first part of the initial $7.5 billion approved by Congress last month.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by the US Treasury Department which aims to disburse the fully $7.5 billion by the end of September.  

In a statement, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said, “The Treasury Department, together with the State Department and USAID, continues to move swiftly to ensure that President Biden’s package of support, approved by Congress, will reach those in need as quickly as possible.”

The US has been supporting Ukraine both militarily and financially since February, when Russia began its offensive there.

Ukraine's economy will contract by up to 45 percent in 2022, with no diplomatic off-ramp on the horizon to the end the five-month conflict, according to World Bank estimates.

According to the Treasury Department, the G7 and the European Union also announced commitments of $29.6 billion in further money for Kiev, with $8.5 billion of that coming from the United States.

Also on Wednesday, the Treasury said in a statement that it had blocked $30 billion in assets of Russian elite and officials, and immobilized $300 billion owned by the central bank.

The United States and Ukraine's other Western allies have been giving Kiev millions of dollars in modern weaponry. Washington alone has supplied Ukraine with more than $6 billion in military equipment.

Russia has repeatedly warned against the West plans to pump weapons into Ukraine, saying the more weapons arrive in the country, the longer the war will last.

Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said earlier this week that the move would “only tightens the conflict spiral and increases the threat of the further escalation with unpredictable consequences.”

Antonov accused Washington of “pushing the Kiev regime to commit mass murders of civilians.”

Biden has previously said that Russia’s offensive in Ukraine would end through diplomacy but Washington must provide significant weapons and ammunition to Kiev the highest leverage at the negotiating table.

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