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Biden Administration announces $1.5 billion in energy and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine

The new package advanced by Vice President Kamala Harris comes two days after Washington signed a 10-year security agreement with Kiev.

Kamala Harris

Cordon Press

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(AFP / Voz Media) Vice President Kamala Harris announced Saturday more than $1.5 billion in aid for Ukraine, mainly for its energy sector and humanitarian assistance.

Harris, who is attending a two-day Ukraine peace summit in the luxury mountain resort of Burgenstock, Switzerland, said the package includes $500 million in new funding for energy assistance.

Another $324 million in funding previously announced by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will also be redirected to address emergency energy needs.

"This funding will repair energy infrastructure damaged in the war, expand power generation, encourage private sector investment, and protect energy infrastructure," Harris said in a statement.

"These efforts will help Ukraine respond to Russia’s latest attacks on Ukraine energy infrastructure by supporting repair and recovery, improving Ukraine’s resilience to energy supply disruptions, and laying the groundwork to repair and expand Ukraine’s energy system."

The new package also includes more than $379 million in humanitarian assistance. The State Department, with support from Congress, will provide another $300 million in aid for Ukraine's civilian security, Harris added.

Midweek, President Biden signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement with Ukraine. Washington pledged to support Kiev with weapons, equipment and training necessary for defense.

Putin: Ukraine must withdraw its troops and resign from NATO

Russia is not part of this weekend's summit. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the meeting, saying that without his country's participation it was impossible to end the war.

The president also said that he will negotiate peace if Kiev withdraws its troops from the four regions that Moscow claims and if it renounces joining NATO. Ukraine immediately rejected the conditions set by Putin.

The two countries have been locked in a bloody conflict for more than two years, and no direct peace talks have been held since the first weeks of the Russian invasion.

Ukraine demands the full withdrawal of Russian troops from its internationally recognized territory, including the annexed Crimean peninsula, as part of any peace deal.

The West backs Kiev

Meeting in southern Italy, G7 leaders adopted a 36-page declaration this Friday. Among various commitments, they promised to collaborate with the Ukrainian war effort as long as necessary and announced plans to unlock approximately $50 billion in frozen Russian assets.