President Joe Biden’s administration on Sept. 8 announced more than $2 billion in new aid for Ukraine and other European allies.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a Biden appointee, announced the bulk of the aid while making an unscheduled visit to Kyiv.
In meetings with senior Ukrainian officials, Blinken said the Biden administration had notified Congress of its intent to provide $2 billion in long-term Foreign Military Financing to Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors, including North Atlantic Treaty Organization members and regional security partners that are “most potentially at risk for future Russian aggression.”
Pending expected congressional approval, about $1 billion of the aid will go to Ukraine.
The rest will be divided among Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, the State Department said.
It will go to help those countries “deter and defend against emergent threats to their sovereignty and territorial integrity” by enhancing their military integration with NATO and countering “Russian influence and aggression,” the department said.
“This assistance demonstrates yet again our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s future as a democratic, sovereign, and independent state, as well as the security of allies and partners across the region,” it said.
Foreign Military Financing, or FMF, allows recipients to purchase U.S.-made defense equipment, often depending on their specific needs.
Also on Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, another Biden appointee, announced that Biden approved this week the latest tranche of military assistance to Ukraine as the country fights with Russia.
The tranche is valued at up to $675 million, Austin told reporters at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
The equipment, the administration’s 20th drawdown for Ukraine since August 2021, includes guided missiles, armored ambulances, anti-tank systems, and small arms.
“We’re just as resolute in supporting Ukraine as we were in April when we first met here,” Austin said. “I know that we’ve got a lot of work to do,” he added later, before saying: “We’ve done so much and we’re determined to do even more. And I know that we’re going to deepen our shared resolve to help the people of Ukraine in their fight for freedom.”
The newly announced funding takes the total U.S. financial commitment to Ukraine to $15.2 billion since Biden took office in 2021.
The administration wants even more funding for the war effort. It asked Congress this week for nearly $12 billion for security and economic assistance to Ukraine.
Top Democrats indicated they would approve the latest package, which includes other priorities and totals $47 billion.
“Ukraine needs more help. We want to give it to them,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters in Washington.
But Republicans suggested they were not on board.
“It’s a big ask without much explanation,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of GOP Senate leadership, told reporters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.