US announces two billion dollars in military aid for Europe

The US has announced major new military aid worth more than two billion US dollars for Ukraine and other European countries threatened by Russia.

ecretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration would provide two billion US dollars in long-term military assistance to Ukraine and 18 of its neighbours, including Nato members and regional security partners “most potentially at risk for future Russian aggression”.

This is on top of a 675 million US package of heavy weaponry, ammunition and armoured vehicles for Ukraine that Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced earlier on Thursday at a conference in Germany.

The contributions bring total US aid to Ukraine to 15.2 billion US dollars since the administration took office.

Officials said the new commitments were intended to show that American support for the country in the face of Russia’s invasion was unwavering.

The announcements came as fighting between Ukraine and Russia has intensified in recent days, with Ukrainian forces mounting a counteroffensive to retake Russian-held areas in the south and east.

And it came a day after shelling continued near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, with the warring sides trading blame again amid dire warnings from the UN atomic watchdog for the creation of a safe zone to prevent a catastrophe.

Also, on Wednesday, the US accused Moscow of interrogating, detaining and forcibly deporting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to Russia.

Russian officials immediately rejected the claim as “fantasy”.

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