The U.S. agreed to provide the Ukrainian government with millions of dollars in military aid following a secretive meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and top U.S. diplomats on Sunday.
The New York Post reported that the diplomats announced President Joe Biden’s plans to nominate Bridget Brink as the American ambassador to Ukraine and that American diplomats will return to Ukraine this week after evacuating the country before the Russian invasion began.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Zelenskyy and told him that the U.S. would provide his country with more than $300 million in military financing. The American diplomats also approved a $165 million sale of ammunition not made in the U.S. that will be compatible with Ukraine’s Soviet-era weapons.
The U.S. will be providing a total of $713 million for foreign military financing for Ukraine and 15 allied and partner countries. Of this money, $322 million will go to Ukraine.
The rest of the money will be split between NATO member nations and other countries that have provided military supplies to Ukraine during the Russian invasion.
With this latest aid package, the U.S. government has provided Ukraine with $3.7 billion in assistance since the beginning of the war.
This past Thursday, Biden pledged to give an additional $800 million in military aid to Ukraine, including heavy artillery and drones.
As part of the $13.6 billion spending package approved by Congress last month to provide aid and relief to Ukraine and the country’s allies, the American legislative branch committed to spending a total of $6.5 billion in military assistance to Ukraine.
Zelenskyy has made repeated pleas for military assistance from the U.S. since the Russian invasion began.
Before meeting with Blinken and Austin, Zelenskyy said, “We will talk about the list of weapons that we need and the pace of its supply. In recent weeks, the pace, the number has all improved. I’m grateful for that.”
Sunday’s meeting was kept very secret, as American officials refused to confirm that Zelenskyy and the American diplomats would be meeting even after the Ukrainian president announced the summit the day before.
Journalists who traveled with the American diplomatic contingent were not permitted to cross the border into Ukraine or disclose the location of the meeting. They were also barred from reporting on the trip until after it had concluded.
Blinken currently plans to return to Washington from Poland, while Austin is planning to meet with NATO leaders in Germany.