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U.S. to allocate another $322 million in military assistance to Ukraine. Highlights from Zelenskyy-Blinken conversation

The United States will allocate $322 million in aid to Ukraine.

The United States will allocate $322 million in aid to Ukraine.

The United States will allocate an additional $713 million to finance the military sector in Ukraine and 15 other countries, of which Ukraine will get $322 million.

The United States has also approved selling of munitions worth $165 million to Ukraine, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during an unannounced joint visit to Kyiv with Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, Associated Press reports.

The remaining amount of $391 million will be distributed among the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, as well as the Balkans that sent weapons to Kyiv. This funding differs from previous U.S. military assistance to Ukraine. This is not a donation of depleted US Department of Defense stocks, but rather cash that countries can use to purchase needed weapons. This will help the Ukrainian armed forces to switch to more advanced weapons and air defense systems, mainly NATO systems.

In total, since the outbreak of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States has provided military assistance in the amount of $3.7 billion.

"He (President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky — The Page) has the mindset that they want to win, and we have the mindset that we want to help them win," Austin told reporters in Poland, the day after the three-hour face-to-face meeting with Zelenskyy in Ukraine.

Austin added that the nature of the fight in Ukraine had changed now that Russia has pulled away from the wooded northern regions to focus on the eastern industrial heartland of the Donbas. The nature of the fight has evolved, so have Ukraine’s military needs. Now Ukraine needs more tanks, artillery and other munitions.

In turn, Anthony Blinken said the meeting with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy lasted for three hours with wide ranging talks, including what help the country needs in the weeks ahead.

"The strategy that we’ve put in place, massive support for Ukraine, massive pressure against Russia, solidarity with more than 30 countries engaged in these efforts, is having real results," Blinken said.

Asked what the U.S. sees as success, Austin said: "We want Ukraine to remain a sovereign country, a democratic country capable of defending its sovereign territory, we want to see Russia weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine."

They also said that U.S. President Biden would soon announce Bridget Brink's candidacy for the post of ambassador to Ukraine. American diplomats who left Ukraine before the war will begin returning to the country this week. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv will remain closed for the time being.

From Poland, Blinken plans to return to Washington, while Austin will head to Ramstein, Germany, for a meeting on Tuesday with defense ministers from NATO and other donor countries.

Recall that in March, Congress approved $6.5 billion in military aid as part of $13.6 billion spending for Ukraine and allies in response to the Russian invasion.

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