Biden announces 800 mln USD in additional security aid to Ukraine

WASHINGTON, April 21 (Xinhua) -- President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the United States will provide Ukraine with an additional package of security assistance worth 800 million U.S. dollars to help it defense against Russia's military operation.

President Joe Biden walks to board Air Force One, Thursday, April 21, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., en route to Portland, Ore. (Photo: AP)

The announcement came as Russia said the military operation had entered the second phase, focusing on Ukraine's eastern Donbass region.

In remarks delivered from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Biden said the package "includes heavy artillery, weapons, dozens of howitzers and 144,000 rounds of ammunition to go with those howitzers," as well as "more tactical drones," adding that his country will continue to share "significant timely intelligence" with Ukraine.

In addition to security assistance, Biden also announced that Washington will provide Kiev with 500 million dollars' worth of direct economic assistance to help the Ukrainian government support civilians devastated by the war and those providing essential services during the conflict.

Out of the 3.5 billion dollars in direct presidential drawdown authority with regard to Ukraine that Congress has approved for fiscal year 2021, the Biden administration has used over 2.4 billion dollars so far.

"Next week I'm going to have to be sending to Congress a supplemental budget request to keep weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption" to Ukraine, Biden said.

According to him, the United States will ban all Russian-affiliated ships from docking in U.S. ports, "another critical step" to stop Russia from benefiting from the international economic system.