Biden pledges additional $625 mln for Ukraine
The United States is augmenting the amount of arms sent to Ukraine, with Joe Biden wrangling every coin he can into Kiev.
US President Joe Biden pledged Tuesday during a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to provide Ukraine with a fresh $625 million security package, the White House said in a press release.
"President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, spoke today with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine," the White House said.
According to the press release, Biden pledged to continue sending arms to Ukraine in light of the war, including Tuesday's provision of $625 in security assistance, which includes arms and equipment, such as HIMARS, artillery systems, ammunition, and armored vehicles.
According to the US State Department, the Biden administration has committed more than $17.5 billion to arm Ukraine since the start of the war in February.
The White House confirmed Saturday that US President Joe Biden signed a bill approving appropriations through December 16, 2022, including an additional $12.4 billion to support Ukraine.
The US Senate approved Thursday the $12.4 billion in fresh economic and military aid for Ukraine as part of Washington's stopgap extension of the US federal budget into December.
The bill, which met with bipartisan support, includes $3 billion for arms, supplies, and salaries for the Ukrainian military, while authorizing US President Joe Biden to direct the Department of Defense to provide Ukraine with $3.7 billion of its own weapons and materiel using his Presidential Drawdown Authority.
The United States also approved the same day an extra $1.1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, providing 18 new High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
HIMARS is capable of launching Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles with a range of up to 50 miles, as well as a single Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile with a range of 186 miles. The US has been continuously supplying Ukraine with GMLRSs, while Kiev continues to make demands for ATACMS delivery.
The US is also sending hundreds of armored and tactical vehicles, radar systems, anti-UAV systems, and surveillance and communications systems, the Pentagon said in a statement last week.
Also during the call, Biden emphasized that the United States would never recognize the referenda on the accession of four former Ukrainian regions to Russia.
The referenda were held in the liberated Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Kherson, and Zaporozhye.
The US president added that the United States is prepared to impose severe costs on any individual, entity, or country that provides support to Russia's referenda.
Washington imposed new sanctions on 285 Russia-linked individuals and 11 Russia-linked organizations following the accession of liberated Ukrainian territories into Russia, the US Treasury said on Friday.
The sanctioned individuals are members of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's Federal Assembly, as well as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and his family, the wife and son of Russian Security Council Deputy Chief and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and family members of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, among many others.
The territories have become part of the Russian Federation just this past week after President Vladimir Putin signed a document declaring them Russian territories following popular referenda that saw the overwhelming majority of their citizens voting in favor of becoming parts of Russia.