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US Secretary of State to announce USD 2 bn in security aid for Ukraine and region

During a Thursday visit to Kyiv Secretary Blinken will announce a USD 2 bn security package, of which USD 1 bn will go to Ukraine, and the remainder to other countries in the region of Central and Eastern Europe threatened by Russian aggression.

The White House hopes that the new security package will bolster the counteroffensive which the Ukrainians unleashed against the Russians in the hope of pushing the invaders out of the south and the east of the country.

Half of the security package will go to Ukraine, while the remainder will be distributed between countries of the region, many of which may be directly threatened by Russian aggressive policies, in order “to counter Russian influence and aggression” a US official told Reuters. Most of the countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) are NATO members. Assistance will also be provided to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Georgia, which are not members of the alliance.

Notably, Georgia is the only country outside of Europe covered by the assistance programme. Georgia has also fallen victim to a Russian invasion in 2008.

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The aid package will be in the form of US grants and loans to enable the purchase of weapons and defence systems made in the United States.

Earlier on Thursday, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that US President Joe Biden approved a separate USD 675 million in weapons to Ukraine, bringing up the total US security assistance to the country to USD 15.2 bn since January 2021, when Biden took residency in the White House.

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