US President Joe Biden announced Thursday an additional $800 million security aid package for Ukraine to bolster support for the beleaguered European country, which is facing a new attack. of Russia on its eastern flank.

In a speech from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Biden pledged to send dozens of howitzers, 144,000 rounds of ammunition and tactical drones, while asking Congress for supplemental funding to provide additional aid to kyiv.

“We are in a critical window of time where they are going to set the stage for the next phase of this war,” Biden said. The United States and its allies are “moving as quickly as possible” to provide Ukraine with the equipment and weapons it needs.

The president also announced plans to ban Russian-affiliated ships from US borders, as previously reported by Reuters, further increasing pressure on Moscow.

The new weapons package is the same size as an $800 million one announced last week, but details are still being worked out, a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters earlier.

On Wednesday, Biden convened US military leaders for an annual meeting at the White House that is especially important as the war enters a risky new phase.

Opening the meeting, Biden praised the toughness of the Ukrainian military, saying NATO ‘s unity had surprised Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia has said it has entered a new stage of its operation and is methodically seeking to “liberate” the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Western allies anticipate that the Russian campaign could last for many months, reach a stalemate and test the capabilities of Ukrainian fighters on the battlefield.

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