The United States and the European Union have announced new shipments of military aid to Ukraine.
The US government announced on Monday a new package for the Kiev forces fighting Russian troops in pro-Moscow regions in eastern Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington will send Ukraine $350 million in weaponry and equipment.
Separately, a group of 17 EU member states plus Norway said they have agreed on a two-billion-euro plan to deliver artillery rounds and other ammunition to Ukraine over the next year.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell had called on member countries to provide Kiev with one million artillery rounds, including from their own stockpiles. Borrell described the move as “a historic decision” for the 27-nation bloc and Norway.
“We are taking a key step towards delivering on our promises to provide Ukraine with more artillery ammunition,” he said, noting 18 countries had signed up to a European Defense Agency (EDA) project to place joint orders for ammunition with the defense industry.
In the meantime, Kiev has complained its forces are compelled to ration firepower as Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, which kicked off more than a year ago, has turned into an exhaustive war of attrition.
The secretary general of the NATO, however, says Ukraine's Western allies are having a hard time keeping up with Kiev's ever-increasing demand for ammunition.
“The war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of munitions, and depleting allied stockpiles,” Jens Stoltenberg told reporters last month.
Russia launched the war after Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the 2014 Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Since then, the US and its European allies have imposed unprecedented economic sanctions against Moscow while supplying large consignments of heavy weaponry to Kiev, flooding Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars of weapons and munitions. Moscow has condemned the West's weapons shipments to Kiev, warning that it will only prolong the war.
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