The Biden administration said Wednesday an additional $200 million in unspecified defensive military aid is on its way to Ukraine as Russia issued demands for sweeping security guarantees in the troubled region.
A senior U.S. State Department official said the assistance was approved in late December as part of American efforts to help Ukraine protect itself, AP reports.
Until Wednesday, however, the administration had refused to comment on it. The official who briefed AP wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived for meetings in Kyiv.
“We are committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue to provide Ukraine the support it needs,” the official said. The official did not detail the contents of the aid package.
The announcement came as Blinken and other administration officials ramped up warnings about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The White House said Tuesday that Russia could at any point launch an attack in Ukraine, as Breitbart News reported.
With tens of thousands of Russian troops massing on Ukraine’s borders, efforts have intensified to prevent tensions escalating into a new European war.
However, in a joint press conference with visiting German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there would be no further negotiations until the West responds to its demands for sweeping security guarantees.
They include a permanent ban on Ukraine joining NATO.
Washington has rejected the demands.
Blinken arrived in Ukraine early on Wednesday. His visit will be followed by a trip to Berlin on Thursday for four-way talks with Britain, France and Germany to seek Western unity.
AP, AFP contributed to this report