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The US will provide a total of $2 billion in additional military funding for Ukraine and 18 other European countries deemed to face threats from Russia, President Biden’s administration announced Thursday.

The package will focus on long-term military support rather than the ammunition and equipment included in past aid packages, the administration says. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the announcement Thursday morning, just minutes after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced a separate $675 million package of military equipment for Ukraine.

Austin is in Germany meeting with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group throughout Thursday. That package includes more traditional military aid, including artillery munitions, Humvees and armored ambulances, among other things.

The pair of packages put the total military aid provided by the US to Ukraine at over $15 billion since President Biden entered office.

UKRAINE FUNDING BILL: THESE 11 REPUBLICAN SENATORS SPLIT FROM PARTY LEADERSHIP, OPPOSED $40 BILLION IN AID

Ukrainian soldiers fire at Russian positions from a US-supplied M777 howitzer in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region June 18, 2022. US officials will send another $450 million in military aid to Ukraine.
(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testifies before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense during a hearing for the Fiscal Year 2023 Department of Defense, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, May 11.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testifies before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense during a hearing for the Fiscal Year 2023 Department of Defense, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, May 11.
(AP/Jose Luis Magana)

BIDEN SAYS US WON’T TRY TO OUST PUTIN, MONTHS AFTER SAYING HE ‘CANNOT REMAIN IN POWER’

The packages come amid heavy fighting around Ukraine’s Zaporzhizhia nuclear power plant, which Russian forces took over in the opening weeks of their invasion.

United Nations officials say the two countries are courting disaster at the plant. An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team inspected the facility this week and found heavy damage from shelling. Both Ukraine and Russia blame the other for damage to the facility.

“The first important safety pillar that exists in any nuclear facility is not to violate its physical integrity,” IAEA General Director Rafael Grossi said Tuesday. “And unfortunately… this has happened. This happened and this continues to happen. The physical attack, wittingly or unwittingly – the hits that this facility has received and that I could personally see and assess together with my experts – is simply unacceptable.”

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Grossi went on to urge that a demilitarized zone be set up around the power station. Ukraine called for United Nations peacekeeper troops to deploy to the facility to secure such a zone.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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