Washington: The Biden administration never decided to hold back security assistance to Ukraine, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in response to media reports that the US government held back $100 million in arms to Kiev.
“The idea that we have held back security assistance to Ukraine is nonsense. Just last week – in the run-up to the US-Russia Summit – we provided a $150-million package of security assistance, including lethal assistance. We have now provided the entire amount appropriated by Congress through the Ukraine security assistance initiative,” Psaki said on Friday.
The Biden administration, Psaki added, has even prepared contingency funds “in the event of a further Russian incursion into Ukraine.”
Earlier in the day, Politico – citing three unnamed sources – reported that the US suspended the transfer of arms as tensions with Russia subsided.
In the spring, according to the report, the US National Security Council was directed to put the package together as the United States grew increasingly concerned over massive Russian military exercises near the border with Ukraine and in the Crimean Peninsula.
The United States has committed more than $2.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since 2014, including lethal weapons.