Last month, in a strenuous effort to avoid a government shutdown, United States President Joseph Biden signed a $1.5 trillion bill that funds federal operations through September and sends billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, as the country fights off the Russian invasion. This brings the total amount of aid to $2 billion dollars since the beginning of the Biden Administration. The money will fund defensive military equipment and training, along with aid for Ukrainian refugees within the country and in neighboring nations.
President Biden said aid package includes “800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 2,000 Javelin, and 100 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems.” Along with “100 grenade launchers, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, and 400 shotguns, over 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenade launcher and mortar rounds, 25,000 sets of body armor, and 25,000 helmets,”the President said. .
Since 2014, the US has provided over $2.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine, following the Russian annexation of Crimea and the invasion of the Donbass region. After Russia invaded, the Obama Administration provided Ukraine non-lethal security assistance; such as body armor, helmets, vehicles, night and thermal vision devices, heavy engineering equipment, advanced radios, patrol boats, rations, tents, counter-mortar radars, uniforms, medical kits, and many other items.
Russia’s aggression, including the war in eastern Ukraine and its seizure of Crimea, has claimed an exorbitant 14,000 Ukrainian lives, destabilizing Europe and the Black Sea region, while threatening the global rules-based order. The U.S. refuses to recognize Russia’s ostensible annexation of Crimea and continuously reaffirms its full support for international efforts, including the Normandy Format, aimed at negotiating a diplomatic resolution to the Russian-led conflict in eastern Ukraine on the basis of international law.
The U.S. established diplomatic relations with Ukraine in 1991, following its independence from the Soviet Union. Thirty years later, the bonds between the U.S. and Ukraine are stronger than ever. With both countries sharing their values and commitment to a Europe that is whole, free, democratic, and at peace provides the basis for a strategic partnership. The U.S. and Ukraine are working together to address shared global challenges, including energy security and diversification, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both countries’ relationship serves as a cornerstone for security, democracy, and human rights in Ukraine and the broader region. The U.S. is committed to Ukraine’s implementation of the deep and comprehensive reforms necessary to fulfill its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. The U.S. and Ukraine have a bilateral investment treaty with the U.S. exporting coal, machinery, vehicles, agricultural products, fish and seafood, and aircraft to Ukraine and importing iron and steel, inorganic chemicals, oil, aircraft, and agricultural products.
Ukraine has achieved significant progress in developing institutions with integrity and intends, with U.S. support, to continue to counter corruption, ensure accountability, safeguard human rights, realize the aspirations of its citizens, and create favorable conditions for attracting foreign direct investment and driving growth.