US military aid arrives in Ukraine amid tensions with Russia News

The delivery comes after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to Kiev this week amid fears of tens of thousands of Russian troops at the border.

The first shipment of the US security package worth $ 200 million to Ukraine has arrived in Kiev, the US embassy said.

The delivery followed a visit by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to Kiev this week amid fears from Ukraine and its Western allies over tens of thousands of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine. Russia denies planning a new military offensive.

Washington approved the $ 200 million package in December.

“The United States will continue to provide such assistance to support Ukraine’s armed forces in their ongoing efforts to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian aggression,” the embassy said on Facebook on Saturday.

Russia's naval cadets are walking along the quayRussia’s naval cadets walk along the quay of the Kronstadt naval base outside St. Petersburg [Olga Maltseva/AFP]

The Minister of Defense of Ukraine thanked the United States for its assistance.

Meanwhile, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will send US anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine in a move that Blinken says Washington fully endorses.

“I have accelerated and authorized and we fully approve the transfers of defense equipment that NATO allies Estonia Latvia Latvia Lithuania is providing to Ukraine to strengthen its ability to defend itself against unprovoked and irresponsible Russian aggression,” he tweeted.

“We congratulate them on their long-standing support for Ukraine.

Earlier this week, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, described the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine as extremely dangerous and said they were “doing nothing to reduce tensions”.

The West has rejected Moscow’s main demands – NATO’s promises that Ukraine will never be added as a member, that the alliance’s weapons will not be stationed near Russia’s borders, and that it will withdraw its forces from Central and Eastern Europe.

The meeting between Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ended without a break on Friday.

“Stand united”

In a joint statement issued late Friday, the defense ministers of the three Baltic states said they “stand united in our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of ongoing Russian aggression.”

They said Estonia would provide Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank weapons, while Latvia and Lithuania sent Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and other related equipment to strengthen Kiev’s defense capabilities.

“Today, Ukraine is at the forefront of separating Europe from the military conflict with Russia. Let’s face it – the war in Ukraine continues and it is important that we support Ukraine in every way possible so that it can resist the aggressor, “said Estonian Defense Minister Kale Laanet.

It was not immediately clear when the weapons and equipment would be sent to Ukraine.

Russian serviceman carries ammunition during military exercises at Molkino test site in Krasnodar Krai, RussiaRussian serviceman carries ammunition during military exercise at Molkino test site in Krasnodar Krai, Russia [File: AP Photo]

In a separate development, Estonia is seeking Germany’s approval to send Soviet howitzers, which once belonged to East Germany, to Ukraine. Estonia acquired the howitzers from a non-NATO Finland that bought them from Germany’s surplus military supplies in the 1990s.

The German government said on Friday that it was considering Estonia’s request to hand over the howitzers to Ukraine, but did not give a deadline for a decision.

Speaking from the Atlantic Council in Istanbul, Turkey, Matthew Bryza of the Atlantic Council said the build-up of troops along the border with Ukraine was “an unprecedented build-up of wartime in peacetime”, believing the war was not “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s preferred outcome”. .

“A full-scale invasion is costly. It is risky because there will be many Russian victims [and the] “The Ukrainian military is much better equipped than in 2014,” he told Al Jazeera.

In 2014, Russia seized the Crimean peninsula after the overthrow of Moscow’s friend, Ukraine’s leader, and also backed an armed separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine.

“Ukrainian civilians are ready to fight. There will be a guerrilla war, potentially for years, with heavy casualties, “Bryza added.

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