Biden claimed that this is a “critical window” in the war and asked Congress for their assistance. The package will provide tons of artillery, 27 155mm long-range howitzers, tactical drones, 72 vehicles and 144,000 rounds of ammunition. The U.S. also continues to impose financial sanctions on Russia.
“My expectation is Congress will move and act quickly,” he said. “Our unity with the Ukrainian people is sending an unmistakable message to Putin. He will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine. In addition to bosteering Ukraine’s resistance on the battlefield, we’re also demonstrating our support for the people of Ukraine,” he continued. “Today, the United States is excited to say that we intend to provide an additional $500 million in direct economic assistance to the Ukrainian government. This brings our total economic support to Ukraine to $1 billion in the past two months,” he added.
Last week, the Biden administration issued a separate round of funding for securities and artillery. That package also amounted to $800 million. This latest package would bring the total amount of aid to $3.4 billion given to Ukraine since Russia’s initial invasion on Feb. 24. Biden also plans to request more funding from Congress next week.
The commander-in-chief went on to say that the U.S. will be banning Russian ships from ports. This follows a previous ban on Russian aircrafts in American airspace. Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands have both announced rounds of additional funding and shipment of arms to Ukraine earlier this week.
There is a growing refugee crisis in the Ukraine as civilians rush to escape conflict. Biden announced plans to expedite the acclimation process of Ukrainian refugees during his speech. Refugees will be able to come to the United States if they have American sponsors such as ordinary citizens and organizations such as churches. However, if Ukranians try to come in through Mexico, they will be denied. Upwards of 10 percent of Ukraine’s population have fled the country so far.