The following statement was issued by Secretary of State Antony Blinken:
In recent days, Russia has escalated its premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified war on Ukraine, striking hospitals, demolishing schools, leveling civilian infrastructure, and killing hundreds of civilians. As Ukrainian forces bravely continue to combat Russia’s renewed invasion, the United States and its Allies and partners stand steadfast in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we continue expediting security assistance to Ukraine. This includes $1 billion in new security assistance for Ukraine this week.
Exercising the additional authority provided in the Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act signed into law by the President, I have immediately authorized, pursuant to a delegation by the President executed earlier today, a Presidential Drawdown of military assistance valued at up to $800 million for Ukraine’s defense. This authorization is the fifth drawdown of equipment from Department of Defense inventories for Ukraine in the last 6 months. Combined with $200 million authorized March 12, it will bring the total U.S. security assistance approved for Ukraine to $1 billion in the last week alone. We are able to provide this level of assistance because of our partnership with Congress, whose responsiveness and generosity we deeply appreciate. We will continue to work closely with lawmakers to support our Ukrainian partners and impose costs on the Russian government.
Today’s announcement nearly doubles total security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Administration to more than $2 billion, enabling us to surge additional needed assistance, including anti-aircraft, anti-tank, and anti-armor systems as well as small arms and munitions used by Ukrainian security forces on the ground right now in the fight to defend their country.
The United States will continue to stand together with the community of nations backing the people of Ukraine as they defend their country and will continue to urge President Putin to stop the violence, de-escalate, and choose the path of diplomacy. Until then, we will remain in close contact and coordination with our partners and allies, rally freedom-loving countries worldwide to continue delivering swift and severe consequences to the Russian Government and its enablers, and keep surging diplomatic support, security and economic assistance, and humanitarian aid to help the people of Ukraine in their time of need.