Biden sends $800M to Ukraine in military assistance, and bans Russian ships leaving U.S. ports

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U.S. President Biden said Thursday he is sending another $800 million in military aid to Ukraine to send an “unmistakable message” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“He will never succeed in dominating and occupying Ukraine. That will not happen,” Mr. Biden said from the White House.

Paraphrasing Theodore Roosevelt, Mr. Biden said the U.S. will “speak softly and carry a large Javelin” in providing weapons to Ukraine, meaning some of the specifics will be kept secret.

This is the eighth drawdown of arms and equipment for Ukraine from Department of Defense inventories since August. It also comes on top of $800 million announced last Wednesday.

Biden also announced $500m in direct economic aid to Ukraine, bringing the total economic support to $1Billion over the last two months. This is as Ukraine attempts to recover from shocks and to stabilize its economy.

According to the president, he is running out money to send to Ukraine and will ask Congress to approve a supplemental package once the Defense Department settles on an amount.

“In order to sustain Ukraine for the duration of this fight, next week I’m going to have to be sending to Congress a supplemental budget request to keep weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption to the brave Ukrainian fighters and continue delivering economic assistance to the Ukrainian people,” he said.

The president said that he will ban any Russian-affiliated vessel from U.S. ports. This is a repeat of a European measure against Russia that was imposed for the invasion that began February 24.

“No ship that sails under the Russian flag or that is owned or operated by a Russian interest will be allowed to dock in a United States port or access our shores. None,” Mr. Biden said at the White House.

Mr. Biden met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal ahead of his remarks and hailed the Ukrainian people’s resiliency and defense of their capital, Kyiv.

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