After $6.3bln accounting 'error', US announces $1.3bln aid to Kiev
The new packages raises the overall US-provided funds to Ukraine to $64 billion since the start of the conflict.
The United States announced a $1.3 billion military package to Ukraine and vowed to make Russia pay for the damage caused in the country.
"As Russia continues to destroy, we are here to help Ukraine rebuild -- rebuild lives, rebuild its country, rebuild its future," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday at a Ukraine's reconstruction conference in London.
"Let's be clear -- Russia is causing Ukraine's destruction, and Russia will eventually bear the cost of Ukraine's reconstruction," he added, echoing statements by leaders from the UK and the European Union.
The new military assistance, which is part of a fund approved by Congress to fund the war, raises the total of US assistance to kiev to around $64 billion since the start of the conflict in February 2022, some $40 billion of which came in the form of weapon transfers and other security support.
Almost $657 million of the new package will be designated to upgrade Ukraine's railway systems, border crossings, and other vital infrastructures to further connect the country with Europe, the State Secretary detailed.
Ukraine's energy sector will receive $520 million, he added, noting that the funds will be used to repair power grids destroyed in the war, including through market reforms.
Among the remaining part of the assistance, $100 million will be used to upgrade the country's customs services, including transitioning to digital technology.
Blinken called on Kiev to pass anti-monopoly laws, stressing that the US will monitor corruption in Ukraine and increase assistance to NGOs fighting corruption, in addition to supporting free media.
Such institutions are "crucial to ensuring the unprecedented resources that all of us are providing are managed responsibly."
EU adds 3.8 billion dollars to Ukraine weapons fund
On its part, the EU agreed to add 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion) to a fund used to pay for weapons for Ukraine, as the bloc looks to keep up support for Kyiv.
Sweden, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, said the green light had been given to bolster the European Peace Facility at a meeting in Brussels.
The EU's 27 countries have already burnt through some 5.5 billion euros of the joint fund -- set up in 2021 to support partner countries around the globe -- to help arm Ukraine.
That includes 3.6 billion euros to reimburse EU member states for weapons they supply to Ukraine and 2 billion euros dedicated to a program to send ammunition to Kiev.
EU leaders already topped up the fund, which is meant to run to 2027, by 2 billion euros late last year and gave their agreement in principle for adding the latest 3.5 billion.
Some EU nations have pushed to raise the limit to ensure that there is enough money to keep aiding militaries in partner countries in Africa and other regions.
Overall, Brussels says that some 15 billion euros have been provided by EU member states and the bloc's joint fund to arm Ukraine since the operation was launched.
The EU is also training thousands of Ukrainian troops and announced in February that 30,000 soldiers should be trained by the end of this year.
Earlier this month, Washington pledged to supply Ukraine with $2.1 billion in military aid in the form of a package that includes munitions for air defense systems and drones.
The package includes critical air defense and ammunition capabilities, and is being provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative USAI, the US Department of Defense said.
A few weeks ago, Washington also announced $300 million in arms support for Ukraine.
The Pentagon revealed then that the aid will contain "artillery, anti-armor capabilities, and ammunition, including tens of millions of rounds of small arms ammunition."
Faulty book keeping
Earlier today, the US Pentagon released a new audit of its military aid to Ukraine, revealing a $6.2 billion balance sheet error between stated and actual spending.
Pentagon said last month that it overvalued its arms aid to Kiev by $3 billion, but the most recent book revision revealed that the actual error is over double that number.
“In a significant number of cases, services used replacement costs rather than net book value, thereby overestimating the value of the equipment drawn down from US stocks and provided to Ukraine,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said.
The budget surplus could possibly negate the need to ask Congress for extra money packages to Ukraine before the end of the 2023 fiscal year.