US rolls out new aid for Ukraine, sanctions on Russia a year of war

The US on Friday announced a new round of aid to Ukraine and sanctions against Russian entities, marking the one-year mark 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 visit to Ukraine, where he walked the streets of Kiev with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Biden held a virtual meeting with G7 members and Zelenskyy on Friday for nearly 90 minutes to discuss their coordinated efforts to support Ukraine.

“We reiterate that Russia’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric is unacceptable and that any use of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons by Russia would have serious consequences,” part of the statement from the G7 leaders said. “…We deeply regret Russia’s decision to suspend implementation of the New START treaty.”

On Friday, the US, working with G7 partners and allies, will introduce sanctions against key revenue-generating sectors, including more than 200 people and entities, the White House says. That includes Russian as well as third-country actors around the world helping Russia evade sanctions. The sanctions target a dozen Russian financial institutions and actors that aid Russia’s defense and technology industries.

The Pentagon also announced a Supplementary Security Package for Ukraine, which includes several new unmanned aerial systems, counter-unmanned aerial systems to bolster Ukraine’s defenses, and electronic war detection equipment.

The Department of Defense noted that the US is procuring these systems rather than sending equipment pulled from existing US military stockpiles. It means the equipment must be manufactured under the Ukraine Assistance Initiative and it will likely take months to sign the contracts, manufacture and deliver the weapons.

While the US continues to provide Ukraine with military aid in the form of missiles, guns and munitions — the Pentagon has been ramp up production of much needed supplies.

The military package also includes mine clearance equipment, according to the White House.

The Commerce Ministry will also take steps to restrict exports to Russia by listing nearly 90 Russian and third-country companies, including some from China, for sanctions evasion. Biden will also sign proclamations to raise tariffs on certain Russian imports, the White House said.

The moves come as the US is increasingly concerned about Beijing’s ties to Moscow and the possibility that China could provide deadly aid to Russia. Beijing’s top diplomat met in Moscow on Wednesday with Putin, who expects Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit soon.

The president spent about six hours in Kiev on Monday for a surprise train ride that few knew about in advance. In Polandhe delivered a speech calling allies and the world to the cause of Ukraine.

“A year ago, the world braced itself for the fall of Kiev. Well, I just came from a visit to Kiev and I can report that Kiev is standing strong. Kiev is standing proud. Standing free,” Biden said on Tuesday to the applause of 30,000 spectators who waved Polish, American and Ukrainian flags in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

David Martin contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment