The United States will send Ukraine another $800 million in military aid and $500 million in economic assistance, President Joe Biden said Thursday while also announcing a ban on Russian-affiliated ships at U.S. ports.
Biden, speaking at the White House following a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, said his administration’s decision is designed to directly support the people of Ukraine and “hold Putin accountable for his brutal and bloody war.”
“We’re in a critical window now of time where [Russia’s] going to set the stage for the next phase of this war and the U.S. and our allies and partners are moving as fast as possible to continue to provide Ukraine with … the equipment that they need, their forces need, to defend their nation,” he said.
This fresh military aid package, which follows a separate $800 million one Biden signed last week, is designed to support Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, which has faced unrelenting attacks from Russian troops and pro-Russian separatists. It will include heavy artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers, 144,000 rounds of ammunition and tactical drones, he said.
The separate economic aid, meanwhile, will help keep localities running.
“This is money the government can use to support their economy, to support communities that have been devastated by the Russian onslaught, and pay the brave workers that continue to provide essential services to the people of Ukraine,” he said.
Congress last month approved $13.6 billion for military and humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, which Biden said Thursday is “almost exhausted.” He said he would be sending a supplemental budget request to Congress next week to ensure Ukraine continues to receive assistance. He did not say how much he may be requesting.
Biden said the U.S. is also banning all Russian affiliated ships from U.S. ports, following similar steps taken in the European Union and the U.K.
“That means no ship, no ship that sails under the Russian flag or that is owned or operated by a Russian interest will be allowed to dock in a United States port or access our shores. None. None,” he said.
This will ensure Russia will no longer receive the benefits of an international economic system that “they so enjoyed in the past,” he said.