President Joe Biden reaffirmed U.S. support for Ukraine during a rousing speech Tuesday at the Royal Warsaw Castle Gardens in Warsaw, Poland. Photo by Marek Borawski/KPRP/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The White House has announced a plan to send $2 billion in defense funds and equipment to Ukraine as part of a new security assistance package to mark the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion.
The support package, which is funded through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, is intended to reaffirm the strengthening relationship between the United States and Ukraine while shoring up the country's air defenses against the ongoing bombardment.
As part of the deal, the U.S. Defense Department has agreed to provide additional weapons systems, communications and counter-detection equipment, artillery and ammunitions, laser-guided rocket munitions and several other capabilities that will help Ukraine continue to hold ground in the war.
The U.S. Department of Energy also plans to send a third shipment of electrical transmission grid equipment to Ukraine by early March to help provide back-up power, the White House said.
Funding will also go toward training, maintenance, and sustaining the defense effort over the coming months.
Instead of sending weapons and equipment from the U.S. stockpile, the government said it will provide the additional equipment by securing contracts with its allies and partners around the world.
Earlier this week, President Joe Biden visited Kyiv and Warsaw, Poland, where he reasserted the U.S. commitment to stand with Ukraine "for as long as it takes."
The White House plans to ask Congress for $250 million in additional emergency energy assistance to help Ukraine maintain its power grid, and another $300 million in emergency aid to bring energy independence to Moldova.
The administration also began disbursing $9.9 billion in grants to Ukraine -- money approved by Congress with bipartisan support and which is managed by the World Bank -- to allow healthcare, education, and critical emergency services to continue amid widespread destruction throughout the country.
Other nations have committed to send tens of millions of dollars to Ukraine, including Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom, while the G7 increased its economic support budget to $39 billion for 2023, the White House said. The International Monetary Fund was also working with finance ministers to deliver an ambitious aid package for Ukraine by the end of March.
On Friday, the G7 planned to announce a new set of economic sanctions to hold Russia accountable for its continuing hostilities in Ukraine. Billions of dollars in Russian sovereign assets have already been frozen in countless financial institutions across the globe to ensure that Moscow pays for Ukraine's reconstruction.
The U.S. Treasury and State departments also plan new economic sanctions against a dozen Russian financial institutions that would "further degrade Russia's economy and diminish its ability to wage war against Ukraine," the White House said. Other penalties will include further restricting exports to Russia, increasing taxes on Russian products sold in the U.S.
The White House said it plans to investigate charges of war crimes as Russian atrocities have been alleged throughout the war.
The federal moves come a day after the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to adopt a draft resolution that calls for a cease-fire in Ukraine.