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Biden announces $250 million in military aid to Ukraine, final package of 2023

The Biden administration Wednesday announced a $250 million military assistance package for Ukraine.

The aid package — the final of 2023 — will include arms and equipment, including air defense munitions, anti-armor munitions, ammunition for high mobility artillery rocket systems, and more than 15 million rounds of small arms ammunition, a State Department spokesperson said to CBS News.

“Our assistance has been critical to supporting our Ukrainian partners as they defend their country and their freedom against Russia’s aggression,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, urging Congress to “swiftly” approve further aid to Ukraine.

The U.S. “continued to demonstrate its enduring commitment to Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s brutal aggression with the announcement of additional arms and equipment to help Ukraine defend its territory and protect its people,” the State Department spokesperson said.

The announcement came after President Biden hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House earlier this month.

It also came as Ukraine’s allies have dramatically scaled back their funding of Ukraine, which has fallen to its lowest level since the start of the war, according to the German-based Kiel Institute’sUkraine aid tracker.

Earlier this month, Senate Republicansblocked additional Ukraine fundingover a dispute with Democrats over U.S. border security. On Dec. 14, Hungaryblocked about $55 billion in European Union aid for Ukraine.

“The decisions we make now are going to determine the future for decades to come, particularly in Europe,” Mr. Biden said during his meeting with Zelenskyy. “And this is one of those moments. Congress needs to pass the supplemental funding for Ukraine before they break for the holiday recess, before they give [Vladimir] Putin the greatest Christmas gift they could possibly give him.”

—Margaret Brennan contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the $250 million in military aid to Ukraine needs congressional approval.

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