First shipment of $200m security support package from US for Ukraine arrives in Kyiv

Jan 22, 2022: The US embassy said the first shipment of the $200 million security support package from the US for Ukraine had arrived in Kyiv.

The shipment comes after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to Kyiv this week amid fears in Ukraine and its western allies of tens of thousands of Russian troops gathering on the border with Ukraine. Russia has denied plans for a new military strike.

Washington had approved the $200m package in December.

“The United States will continue providing such assistance to support Ukraine’s armed forces in their ongoing effort to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian aggression,” the embassy said on Facebook on Saturday.

Ukraine’s defense minister thanked the United States for its assistance. Meanwhile, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will send US-made anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, which Blinken said Washington fully supports.

In a joint statement published late on Friday, the defence ministers of the three Baltic states said they “stand united in our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in face of continued Russian aggression”.

They said Estonia would provide Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank weapons, while Latvia and Lithuania were sending Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and other related equipment to bolster Kyiv’s defensive military capabilities.

Earlier this week, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, described Western arms supplies to Ukraine as “extremely dangerous” and said “there is nothing we can do to reduce tensions.” The West has rejected key Moscow demands – promises from NATO that Ukraine will never be included as a member, that no allied weapons be deployed near Russia’s borders, and that it will withdraw its forces from Eastern Europe.

Friday’s meeting between Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ended without any progress.

Matthew Bryza of the Atlantic Council said while the amassing of troops along the Ukraine border was an “unprecedented peacetime military build-up”, he believed war was not Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “preferred outcome”.

“Ukrainian civilians are ready to fight. There will be a partisan war potentially for years that will inflict heavy casualties,” Bryza added.

Russia in 2014 had seized control of the Crimean peninsula following the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Moscow leader, and has backed a separatist armed uprising in eastern Ukraine.

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