US promises $1.5 billion in energy and humanitarian aid for Ukraine

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced a new $1.5 billion aid package for Ukraine on Saturday. A third will go to the country’s energy sector, which has been ravaged by Russian strikes. 

Since the start of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, the country’s energy sector has been continuously targeted by drone and missile strikes. The Kyiv School of Economics in May estimated that damages to Ukraine's energy sector have already amounted to more than $16.1 billion, forcing energy companies to institute rolling blackouts. US Vice President Kamala Harris now promises a new aid package, mostly for the country's energy sector.

The announced $1.5 billion aims to repair and protect energy infrastructure, expand power generation and encourage sector investments, among other things. The support package further includes $370 million for humanitarian assistance, including food aid, health care, and access to drinking water. In addition, $300 million will go to Ukrainian civil security assistance for border guards and police. Since the conflict began, the United States has allocated more than $4.7 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Harris unveiled the package while attending a two-day summit in Switzerland aimed at setting out a path towards peace between Ukraine and Russia. Over 100 countries and organisations are attending the conference, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who will be seeking support for a 10-point peace plan he first outlined in 2022. With Russia not invited and key players like China staying away, however, expectations for substantial progress at the summit are low.

The new support package is good news for Zelensky, who has been urging allies to provide increased assistance as Moscow has recently stepped up attacks in the Kharkiv area. On Friday, the ambassadors of European Union member states reached an agreement on a negotiating framework for accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova. On 25 June, Belgium, as president of the Council, will convene the two intergovernmental conferences (IGCs) to formally launch the negotiations.


US Vice President Kamala Harris arrives in Zurich for a Summit on Peace in Ukraine © PHOTO: ENNIO LEANZA / POOL / AFP


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