WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday the U.S. will provide Ukraine with an additional $325 million military aid package during a meeting at the White House with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The package includes air defense capabilities, cluster munitions, anti-tank weapons and other equipments.
“Today I approved the next tranche of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine including more artillery, more ammunition, more anti-tank weapons, and next week, the first U.S. Abrams tanks will be delivered to Ukraine,” Biden said.
“We also focused on strengthening Ukraine’s air defense capabilities to protect the critical infrastructure that provides heat and light during the coldest and darkest days of the year,” he added.
Zelenskyy thanked Biden for the new aid, saying Americans are “together with us, with Ukrainians, with ordinary people, all of us.”
“Thank you so much,” he added.
Biden’s announcement comes as Congress currently is deadlocked on whether or not to approve $24 million in aid to Ukraine. Zelenskyy’s visit is the Ukrainian leader’s second trip to Washington since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began nearly two years ago.
“If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure? I’d respectfully suggest the answer is no,” Biden said in his speech to the U.N. Tuesday. “We have to stand up to this naked aggression today and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Thursday that he declined a request from Zelenskyy to address a joint session of Congress, first reported by Punchbowl News.
Zelenskyy met for a little more than an hour with senators on Capitol Hill.
Earlier in the day, McCarthy failed to secure the votes he needed to begin debate on a key military funding bill after five conservatives blocked it over demands for additional spending cuts.
Biden’s speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, saw him pleading with the world to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
“That’s why the United States, together with our allies and partners around the world, will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity and their freedom,” he said.