US will stand with Ukraine "as long as it takes": Blinken

World Thursday 13/April/2023 08:34 AM
US will stand with Ukraine "as long as it takes": Blinken

Washington : United States State Secretary Antony Blinken has spoken with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and reiterated Washington's commitment to stand with Kiev "for as long as it takes," the US State Department said.

"Secretary Blinken underscored Ukraine's success as vital to peace and security in Europe and reiterated the United States' commitment to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes," said Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel in a statement on Tuesday (local time). The two leaders discussed ongoing preparations for Ukraine's spring counteroffensive, including security assistance pledges from allies and partners, Patel said.

Taking to Twitter, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister also shared the same information, "During our call today, @SecBlinken reaffirmed the ironclad US support and vehemently rejected any attempts to cast doubt on Ukraine's ability to win on the battlefield. The US remains Ukraine's trustworthy partner , focused on advancing our victory and securing a just peace.”

The US has been helping Ukraine since Russia started its special military operation on February 24, 2022.

Last month, the US said that they will send Ukraine USD 350 million in weapons and equipment as the battle with Russian forces continues for control of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

"Today, pursuant to a delegation of authority from President Biden, I am authorizing our 34th drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine valued at USD 350 million," said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement issued by the US State Department on Monday.

"This military assistance package includes more ammunition for US-provided HIMARS and howitzers that Ukraine is using to defend itself, as well as ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons, riverine boats, and other equipment," the statement read.

The US applauds the more than 50 countries that have come together to provide support for Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement read.

"This week, as Russia's unconscionable war of aggression against Ukraine continues at a great human cost, we are again reminded of the boundless courage and steadfast resolve of the Ukrainian people, and the strong support for Ukraine across the international community," Blinken said.

He added: "Russia alone could end its war today. Until Russia does, we will stand united with Ukraine for as long as it takes."

Meanwhile, in February, the US announced a new security package plan, including authorisation of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at upto USD 425 million, as well as USD 1.75 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds, according to the statement released by US Defence Department.

The package pulled USD 425 million from existing Defence Department stocks, and USD 1.75 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds. The new package marks USD 29.3 billion provided to Ukraine since Russia's started its military operation last February.