Russian-Ukrainian tensions: the first American shipment of “deadly” aid arrives

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The United States delivered its first shipments of promised aid to Ukraine on Friday evening, including “deadly” aid, as part of ongoing efforts to deter the Russian invasion.

The shipment includes approximately 200,000 pounds of ammunition and weapons for frontline defenders. The US Embassy in Kyiv hailed the shipment – delivered by air – as part of the $2.7 billion investment in Ukraine.

The embassy also said the shipment “demonstrates the United States’ commitment to helping Ukraine strengthen its defenses in the face of growing Russian aggression.”

President Biden has gone to great lengths to make it clear that the United States will support Ukraine with weapons and sanctions, but he does not want to send troops into the country to defend it.

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“It’s not on the table,” Biden said when asked by reporters on Wednesday whether the United States would send troops to Ukraine. “We have a moral obligation and a legal obligation to our NATO allies if they were to attack under Article 5, it is a sacred obligation. This obligation does not extend to … Ukraine. ”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken greets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov before their meeting, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in Geneva, Switzerland.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken greets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov before their meeting, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)

Russia has made Ukraine’s status a priority in negotiations as Moscow continues to fear that Ukraine will attempt to join NATO, placing it within the sphere of direct US intervention in case of military incursions.

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The United States remained defiant and refused to allow Russia to dictate how NATO works, saying it would keep the door policy open for any nation to join – including Finland and Sweden. , who could now see NATO as a necessary protection against a country that shows no signs. to defuse a tense situation.

Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Dozens of civilians have joined army reserves Ukraine in recent weeks amid fears of a Russian invasion.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Dozens of civilians have joined army reserves Ukraine in recent weeks amid fears of a Russian invasion. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in her New Year’s speech that the country “will keep the possibility of applying for NATO membership”.

“We must maintain this freedom of choice and ensure that it remains a reality, as it is part of every country’s right to decide its own security policies,” Marin said.

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And security remains a concern as Russia continues to muster troops along the Ukrainian border. Footage released Thursday by RadioFreeEurope showed a Russian military build-up and exercises taking place in Yelnya, about 250 km from Ukraine and 120 km from Belarus.

Other images showed armored personnel carriers and trucks at the Klimovo military warehouse, about 20 miles from the Ukrainian border.

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NATO will conduct large-scale naval exercises next week, which will include the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman and anti-submarine operations that Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said will show “deterrence and the defense of the alliance”.

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