WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to announce a new $1 billion aid package for Ukraine during his unannounced two-day trip to Kyiv this week – but only a fraction of the money will go towards military equipment and weapons.
Less than 20% of the assistance — about $175 million — is earmarked to supply the critical munition Kyiv’s defenders desperately need to strengthen their counteroffensive and take back Russian-occupied territory, CBS News reported Wednesday.
Instead, the vast majority of the $1 billion package is expected to support non-military aid, such as economic and humanitarian efforts.
The measly amount set aside for military might comes after experts warned that Ukraine’s Western allies, including the US, have stalled on providing the necessary weapons crucial to the long-awaited counteroffensive, including Abrams tanks and F-16 fighter jets.
“If more had been approved earlier, with fastest training and delivery as a clear priority, Ukraine would likely have been better off today as Russia would have had less time to prepare, and Ukraine would have had more combat power to apply to their objectives earlier,” retired US Major. Gen. Gordon “Skip” Davis, now a senior fellow with the Center for European Policy Analysis, previously told The Post.
News of the new 10-figure package comes just a week after Blinken unveiled a $250 million package of military equipment on Aug. 29, drawn from $6.2 billion of funds discovered after a Pentagon accounting error that overvalued billions of dollars of Ukraine aid.
As of that date, there was “approximately $5.75 billion in restored Presidential Drawdown Authority [funds] that remain available for Ukraine,” the Pentagon told reporters on Tuesday.
While the exact contents of the upcoming package have yet to be revealed, last week’s package included air-defense missiles, HIMARS munitions, artillery shells and much-needed mine-clearing equipment.
Meanwhile, Blinken met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv on Wednesday, where they “discussed the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction and reform efforts,” the State Department said in a readout of the meeting.
The top US diplomat also emphasized “the US commitment to work in concert with partners to address Ukraine’s energy, economic and humanitarian needs.”
Later, he will also meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba “to discuss Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive and future recovery and reconstruction efforts,” said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.
Blinken is scheduled to stay in Ukraine for two days.
The US has provided more than $43 billion in weapons and military equipment to Ukraine since Russia invaded the nation of Feb. 24, 2022, according to the Pentagon.