Mar 30, 2022 - World

Biden announces additional $500 million in direct aid to Ukraine

Biden on the phone

Joe Biden talks on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from the Oval Office at the White House on Dec. 9, 2021. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

During a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday, President Biden informed him that the U.S. intends to give Ukraine an additional $500 million in direct budgetary aid, according to a White House readout of the call.

Why it matters: The news comes as Russian forces have intensified their attacks on Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv, despite earlier claims by Russian officials that they would scale back military operations near those cities in order to facilitate steps towards a potential peace deal.

The big picture: During their call the two leaders also discussed the efforts by the U.S. and its allies to provide Ukraine with "military, economic, and humanitarian assistance" and to "impose severe costs on Russia for its brutal aggression against Ukraine," per the readout.

  • Ukraine can use direct budgetary aid to bolster its government services, put it towards military purposes, or provide humanitarian aid, Bloomberg reported.
  • Biden and Zelensky also discussed the U.S.' work to meet Ukraine's security assistance requests and "continued efforts" by the U.S. and allies "to identify additional capabilities to help the Ukrainian military defend its country."
  • Zelensky also updated Biden on the status of Ukraine’s peace talks with Russia, the readout concluded.

Go deeper: The latest on the Russia-Ukraine crisis

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