Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday thanked his United States counterpart, Joe Biden, for announcing a fresh package, in the form of military aid and worth USD 800 million, to help the war-ravaged nation which, since February 24, has been under an invasion from its neighbour Russia.

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“I’m grateful to @POTUS and the American people for the leadership in supporting the people of Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. This help is needed today more than ever! It saves the lives of our defenders of democracy and freedom and brings us closer to restoring peace in Ukraine,” Zelensky posted on Twitter.

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Zelensky’s reaction came shortly after Biden announced the latest package for the east European nation. According to Pentagon, the package includes 155mm howziters (72),  armoured vehicles to tow them (72), ammunition (144,000 rounds), as well as more than 120 tactical drones, called ‘Phoenix Ghost’, developed by the United States Air Force specifically to address Ukraine’s needs.

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In further action against Moscow, the Democrat also announced a ban on Russia-affiliated ships at US ports, adding that the US treasury is putting up an additional USD 500 million for Ukraine to pay salaries, pensions and provide services. “We’re in a critical window now of time where that they’re going to set the stage for the next phase of this war. And the United States and our allies and partners are moving as fast as possible to continue to provide Ukraine … the weapons their forces need to defend their nation,” he said.

Last week too, Biden announced a military aid package, also worth USD 800 million, for Ukraine. In all, since January 2021, when the Biden administration assumed office, Washington has delivered arms and ammunition, worth USD 4 billion, to Kyiv.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.

(With AFP inputs)

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