Blinken Approves $200 Million In Defense Aid For Ukraine

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Saturday that the Biden Administration has approved an additional $200 million in defense aid for Ukraine, bringing the total of U.S. security assistance to $1.2 billion.

“I have immediately authorized today, pursuant to a delegation by the President, a fourth Presidential Drawdown of up to $200 million for additional military assistance for Ukraine’s defense. This package will include further defensive assistance to help Ukraine meet the armored, airborne, and other threats it is facing. This drawdown will bring the total security assistance provided by the United States to Ukraine to more than $1.2 billion since the beginning of the Administration,” Blinken announced in a press statement.

The $200 million in additional arms and equipment includes anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles pulled from existing stockpiles in Europe and follows a $350 million arms package approved by the Biden administration last month, according to The New York Times.

The additional aid reportedly comes amid Ukraine’s request for more assistance and a no-fly zone as it continues to push back against Russian forces.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. and NATO have provided Ukraine with more than 17,000 anti-tank weapons, according to The New York Times. These shipments have not been attacked by Russian forces, though Russian officials warned that such shipments would be targeted. (RELATED: Ashton Kutcher And Mila Kunis Raise $20 Million For Ukraine, Will Try To Raise Another $10 Million)

“The U.S. … pumping weapons from a number of countries it orchestrates isn’t just a dangerous move, it’s an action that makes those convoys legitimate targets,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned, according to Politico.

“The people of Ukraine are inspiring the world as they defend their country from Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified invasion of their country. The United States and our Allies and partners stand in solidarity with the people and government of Ukraine in the face of the Kremlin’s aggression,” Blinken declared in his press statement.

“We salute the armed forces of Ukraine and all Ukrainian citizens who are defending their country with great skill, iron will, and profound courage. America and its Allies support their efforts to defend their country and protect their fellow citizens, and urge Russia to recognize that force will never defeat Ukraine’s spirit. We are committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue to provide Ukraine the support it needs,” he concluded.