US to provide up to $250 million in arms, equipment to Ukraine – Blinken

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. will provide up to $250 million in arms and equipment to Ukraine in the final package of aid this year to help Kyiv in its war with Russia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday.

President Joe Biden has asked Congress to provide another $61 billion in aid to Ukraine, but Republicans are refusing to approve the assistance without an agreement with Democrats to tighten security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The White House has warned that without the additional appropriation U.S. aid will run out by the end of the year for Ukraine’s fight to retake territory occupied by Russian forces since it invaded in February 2022.

“Over the course of this year, the U.S. has provided 34 military aid packages worth over $24 billion… We will always be grateful for all of this support,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday on the X social media platform.

Blinken said the latest aid package included air defense munitions, additional ammunition for high-mobility artillery rocket systems, artillery ammunition, anti-armor munitions and over 15 million rounds of ammunition.

Zelenskiy said it would cover “Ukraine’s most pressing needs”.

Congress has approved more than $110 billion for Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, but it has not approved any funds since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives from Democrats in January 2023.

(Reporting by Eric Beech, Yuliia Dysa; editing by Dan Whitcomb and Leslie Adler, William Maclean)