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US announces $400 million new military aid for Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a news conference with Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani (not pictured), in Doha, Qatar, November 22, 2022. (Reuters photo)

The United States has announced $400 million in new military aid, which includes weapons, munitions and air defense equipment, for Ukraine, deepening its involvement in the war in defiance of repeated warnings by Russia.

"The artillery ammunition, precision fires, air defense missiles, and tactical vehicles that we are providing will best serve Ukraine on the battlefield," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday.

The State Department said the package includes weapons, ammunition and air defense equipment from US stocks and one of the goals is to help Ukraine defend against steady Russian attacks on energy infrastructure, AFP reported.

The State Department added that it will bring the Biden administration’s total commitment to Kiev to nearly $19.7 billion.

The department also said that US allies such as Britain, France and Sweden also announced multi-million dollar aid packages for Ukraine recently.

"We will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes, so it can continue to defend itself and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table when the time comes," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement announcing the new assistance.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said the package included additional munitions for NASAMS air defense systems and for high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).

US President Joe Biden has said he expects American aid to Ukraine will continue without interruption despite opposition by Republicans, who are expected to use their new majority in the House of Representatives to monitor the flow of aid.

Russia has repeatedly warned that supplying Kiev with more and more weapons will only exacerbate the conflict, which is now in its ninth month.

Continuously flooding Ukraine with weapons "will only drag the conflict out and make it more painful for the Ukrainian side, but it will not change our goals and the end result," the Kremlin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said earlier this month.

Peskov insisted that the US was in reality engaged in the Ukraine conflict. "The US de facto has become deeply involved," he said.

His remarks echoed those of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said that Washington had "been participating de facto in this war for a long time."

"This war is being controlled by the Anglo-Saxons," Lavrov said.

On Tuesday, the United States has said it would provide $4.5 billion in financial support for Ukraine, with the funds aimed at "bolstering economic stability and supporting core government services."

"These funds will begin disbursing in the coming weeks," US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

She added that the aid will be delivered to Ukraine's government and help it against Russia's military action "by bolstering economic stability and supporting core government services, including wages for hospital workers, government employees, and teachers.”

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