United States President Joe Biden has instructed Secretary of State Antony Blinken to release up to $350 million in immediate support to Ukraine’s security and defense.
This release comes after a 40-minute call between Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier Friday, February 25, during which they discussed “concrete defense assistance.”
According to a new memo released by the White House late Friday, this is the third drawdown of money sent from US to Ukraine recently.
Previous orders have been for $60 million and $250 million, putting the total over the last year at over a billion dollars, according to an administration official.
The State Department is expected to issue its own statement with more details shortly.
This news comes as residents in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv woke up to explosions and the sounds of war for the third morning, as the Russian troops attempt to take over the capital Kyiv.
Bomb blasts were reported inside the capital Saturday morning, after days of heavy fighting on the outskirts as Russian troops advanced on the city. Gunfire was also heard close to the city center as Russian troops face heavy resistance from Ukrainian soldiers and civilians defending their city.
In a national address Friday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed Ukrainians would stay and fight for their country, and accused Russia of targeting civilian infrastructure.
A spokesperson for Zelensky said the President accepted a Russian proposal to hold negotiations and that he is ready to talk about peace and a ceasefire.
Also, on Friday, Russia, UN security council permanent member, vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine.
China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstained from voting. After the vote, 50 countries issued a joint statement saying Russia abused its power in blocking the resolution.