Days Before Biden Meets Putin, U.S. Pledges $150 Million In Weapons And Training For Ukraine
The U.S. will provide Ukraine with a $150 million package of military assistance including weapons, training and equipment, the Pentagon said Friday, in a show of support for the country fighting Russian-backed separatists made just days ahead of President Joe Biden’s face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The package will include anti-drone and “electronic warfare” weapons as well as training for Ukraine’s air force, the Pentagon announced Friday.
The U.S. has given or pledged $2.5 billion in military funding to Ukraine since 2014, when a revolution toppled the country’s Russian-backed president and Russia retaliated by invading and annexing the Ukrainian region of Crimea. Since then, Ukraine has intermittently fought Russian-funded separatists in the eastern Donbas region, killing more than 14,000 people, according to Reuters. Fighting began to escalate this spring, unraveling a July 2020 ceasefire agreement. Biden, who blames Russia for the flare-up, called Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday to express his support for Ukraine’s “territorial integrity in the face of ongoing Russian aggression” before leaving for Europe, which concludes Wednesday at the summit with Putin.