US Will Support Kiev's Efforts to 'Regain Territories', Strengthen Ukraine's Hand Militarily: Biden
14:37 GMT 30.09.2022 (Updated: 20:57 GMT 19.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Evan VucciPresident Joe Biden speaks to reporters, file photo.
© AP Photo / Evan Vucci
The president's comments came just hours after the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and the heads of the pro-Russian administrations in the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye signed agreements to join Russia.
The United States "condemns Russia's fraudulent attempt today to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory," and will "continue to support" Kiev's efforts to regain it "by strengthening its hand militarily and diplomatically," President Joe Biden has announced.
"In response to Russia's phony claims of annexation, the United States, together with our Allies and partners, are announcing new sanctions today. These sanctions will impose costs on individuals and entities - inside and outside of Russia - that provide political or economic support to illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory," Biden said Friday in a White House press release.
US military support will include the $1.1 billion in "additional security assistance" announced earlier in the week, Biden said.
"And I look forward to signing legislation from Congress that will provide an additional $12 billion to support Ukraine. I urge all members of the international community to reject Russia's illegal attempts at annexation and to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes," he said.
Biden's remarks came on the heels of a ceremony in Moscow on Friday attended by President Vladimir Putin, Russian legislators, the leaders of the Donbass republics and pro-Russian administrations in the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, where agreements on these territories' accession into the Russian Federation were signed. The latter must now be ratified by the Russian Duma and the Federation Council.
The ceremony followed referendums in each of the four territories where residents were asked whether they would like their republic or region to join Russia. An overwhelming majority of residents voted in favor, with support ranging from 87-99 percent, and turnout from 77-97.5 percent.
The United States poured over $5 billion in cash into Ukraine's pro-Western political establishment and civil society organizations through the 1990s, 2000s, and early 2010s, and delivered billions of dollars in additional financial and security assistance in the aftermath of the 2014 coup d'etat in Kiev to shore up the new government's war against the Donbass. In 2022, after Russia launched a military operation to 'demilitarize' and 'de-Nazify' Ukraine, Washington and its allies sent tens of billions of dollars' more in military aid to Kiev, ignoring Moscow's warnings that the deliveries would escalate the conflict.
30 September 2022, 08:33 GMT