U.S. rolls out new aid for Ukraine, sanctions for Russia one year into war
The U.S. announced a new round of aid to Ukraine and sanctions against Russian entities Friday, marking the one-year point in Russian President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked war in Ukraine.
The announcement comes on the heels of President Joe Biden's trip to Poland and surprise Ukraine visit, where he walked the streets of Kyiv with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Mr. Biden met virtually with G7 members and with Zelenskyy for nearly 90 minutes Friday to discuss their coordinated efforts to back Ukraine.
"We reiterate that Russia's irresponsible nuclear rhetoric is unacceptable, and any use of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons by Russia would be met with severe consequences," part of the G7 leaders' statement said. "...We deeply regret Russia's decision to suspend the implementation of the new START treaty."
On Friday, in coordination with G7 partners and allies, the U.S. will implement sanctions against key revenue-generating sectors, including more than 200 people and entities, the White House says. That includes both Russian and third-country actors across the globe who are helping Russia evade sanctions. The sanctions target a dozen Russian financial institutions and actors helping Russia's defense and technology industry.
The Pentagon also announced an additional security assistance package for Ukraine that includes several new unmanned aerial systems, counter-unmanned aerial systems to strengthen Ukraine's defenses and electronic warfare detection equipment.
The Defense Department noted that the U.S. is procuring these systems, rather than sending equipment drawn down from existing U.S. military stocks. It means that the equipment will have to be manufactured under the Ukraine Assistance Initiative, and it will likely take months to sign the contracts, manufacture and deliver the weapons.
As the U.S. continues to provide Ukraine with military aid in the form of rockets, guns and ammunition — the Pentagon has been stepping up production of critically needed supplies.
The military package also includes mine-clearing equipment, according to the White House.
The Commerce Department will also take steps to restrict exports to Russia, listing nearly 90 Russian and third-country companies, including some from China, for engaging in sanctions evasion. Mr. Biden will also sign proclamations to raise tariffs on some Russian imports, the White House said.
The moves come as the U.S. is increasingly worried about Beijing's ties to Moscow, and the possibility that China could give Russia lethal aid. Beijing's top diplomat met in Moscow Wednesday with Putin, who expects Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit soon.
The president spent about six hours in Kyiv Monday on a surprise trip by train that few knew about ahead of time. In Poland, he delivered a speech rallying allies and the world to Ukraine's cause.
"One year ago, the world was bracing for the fall of Kyiv. Well, I've just come from a visit to Kyiv, and I can report, Kyiv stands strong. Kyiv stands proud. It stands tall. And most important, it stands free," Mr. Biden said Tuesday to applause from 30,000 onlookers waving Polish, U.S. and Ukrainian flags in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw.
David Martin contributed to this report.
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