Ukrainian president thanks US for help during ‘difficult time’

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday thanked Washington for its support during a visit from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken amid fears of Russian aggression towards its neighbor.

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“I would like to thank you personally, and President Biden and the US administration for your support, for military assistance to Ukraine, for increasing this assistance,” Zelensky told Blinken.

The Ukrainian leader said Kyiv over recent years had allocated the maximum possible sums of money to bolster its military capacity.

“But all the same, we understand that to take steps quickly to modernize the army, we need help, especially in these times, in difficult times,” he added.

A senior US official said earlier Wednesday that President Joe Biden’s administration “last month approved the provision of $200 million in additional defensive security assistance to our Ukrainian partners”.

Before Russia’s troop movements to Ukraine’s borders late last year, the Biden administration had delivered $450 million in military aid to the country.

The Biden administration has repeatedly said it is ready to help Ukraine militarily, the culmination of a decade-long shift by the US which previously worried about angering Russia.

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