US pledges new Ukraine aid, Biden to name ambassador pick

NEAR THE POLISH-UKRAINIAN BORDER – The United States is giving new military assistance to Ukraine and renewing a diplomatic push in the war-ravaged nation as President Joe Biden’s secretary of state and Pentagon chief complete a secretive trip to Kyiv.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin informed Ukraine‘s president of a more than $300 million package of foreign military financing and a $165 million sale of ammunition.

They also said President Joe Biden would announce his pick for a US ambassador to Ukraine and that American diplomats who left ahead of Russia’s invasion in February would start returning to the country this coming week.

Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said he planned to meet with the US officials in Kyiv on Sunday, but the Biden administration refused to confirm that or discuss any details of a possible visit.

It was the highest-level American visit to the capital since Russia invaded in late February.

Austin and Blinken announced a total of $713 million in foreign military financing for Ukraine and 15 allied and partner countries. Some $322 million is earmarked for Kyiv.

Officials say the remainder will be split among NATO members and other nations that have provided Ukraine with critical military supplies since the war with Russia began.

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