Ukraine-Russia live news: US to send $450m more in military aid

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Ukraine-Russia live news: US to send $450m more in military aid

The new package includes another four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to help Ukraine push back Russian progress in the war, officials say.

Ukrainian soldiers fire at Russian positions from a US-supplied M777 howitzer in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region June 18, 2022 [Efrem Lukatsky/AP]

By Sasha PetrovaPublished On 24 Jun 202224 Jun 2022

  • The United States is sending another $450 million in military aid to Ukraine, including four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
  • The European Union’s 27 nations have unanimously approved Ukraine’s application to become a candidate country for membership to the bloc.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says EU’s decision is one of the most important for Ukraine since it gained independence.
  • Ukraine says it will move quickly and take the necessary steps for accession talks to begin.
(Al Jazeera)

Here are the latest updates:

27 seconds ago (00:41 GMT)

Canada passes budget including power to confiscate assets seized in response to Russia’s invasion

Canada’s Senate has passed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s budget, adopting a long list of measures which includes the power to confiscate and sell assets seized in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

3 mins ago (00:38 GMT)

US welcomes Turkey’s help on Ukraine grain exports

The United States welcomes Turkey’s involvement in brokering an agreement to get grain out of Ukraine, John Kirby, the national security spokesman, has said.

The US is working with allies and partners to get some grain out of Ukraine, exports that have been thwarted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kirby said.

“We certainly welcome Turkey’s involvement in trying to broker some kind of arrangement to allow shipping of grain,” he said, noting there was a blockade in the Black Sea.

38 mins ago (00:04 GMT)

US sending advanced rocket systems, other aid to Ukraine

The United States will send another $450 million in military aid to Ukraine, including some additional medium-range rocket systems, to help push back Russian progress in the war, officials have announced.

The latest package includes four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, which will double the number they have now. All four were prepositioned in Europe, and training on those systems has already begun with the Ukrainian troops who will use them, said Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, Anton Semelroth, a Pentagon spokesman.

The first four HIMARS that the US previously sent have already gone to the battlefield in Ukraine and are in the hands of troops there.

According to the Pentagon, the aid also includes 18 tactical vehicles that are used to tow howitzers, so the weapons can be moved around the battlefield, as well as 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats, thousands of machine guns, grenade launchers and rounds of ammunition, and some other equipment and spare parts.

47 mins ago (23:55 GMT)

Zelenskyy says won’t rest until EU membership secured

Zelenskyy has promised not to rest until Russia’s defeat and full membership of Ukraine in the European Union had been secured.

“This is a victory,” a smiling Zelenskyy said in a brief video posted to his Instagram channel, noting Ukraine had waited 30 years for this moment.

“We can defeat the enemy, rebuild Ukraine, join the EU, and then we can rest,” he said in a low voice.

“Or perhaps we won’t rest at all – our children would take offence. But without any doubt, we will win.”

Andriy Yermak, Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, said Kyiv would quickly implement the plan needed for accession talks to begin.

54 mins ago (23:47 GMT)

Ukraine, Moldova will tackle reforms quickly: EU’s von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said she was convinced Ukraine and Moldova would move as swiftly as possible to implement necessary reforms.

“There can be no better sign of hope for the citizens of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in these troubled times,” she told reporters on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels after both countries were granted EU candidate status, adding that they still had to do homework.

“I am deeply convinced that our decision that we have taken today strengthens us all. It strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in the face of Russian aggression,” she said.

“And it strengthens the European Union because it shows once again to the world that the European Union is united and strong in the face of external threats.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, centre, and French President Emmanuel Macron, right, speak with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, June 23, 2022 [Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP]

56 mins ago (23:46 GMT)

Moldovan President says EU decision on candidacy status is a historic day

Moldovan President Maia Sandu has said the European Union’s move to grant her nation candidacy status was a historic day, adding: “We have a difficult road ahead, which will require a lot of work and effort”.

In a Facebook post, she said EU membership would being more welfare, more opportunities and more order in the small country, which lies sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania.

1 hour ago (23:38 GMT)

Zelenskyy thanks EU for candidacy approval

A triumphant Volodymyr Zelenskyy has thanked the European Union for granting Ukraine candidate status, saying this was the beginning of Europe’s new history.

Listing and thanking every country in the bloc individually in a video address, Zelenskyy said they made had made “one of the most important decisions for Ukraine in all 30 years of independence of our state.”

“I have always said that we, Ukrainians, believe in the European Union. Although we remained formally outside the European Union, our country probably had the largest number of flags of a united Europe,” he said.

“They were in the hands of our people during the revolutions. They have been in the hands of our people in the trenches since 2014. I believe that the flag of the European Union will be in every Ukrainian city that we have yet to liberate from the occupation of the Russian Federation,” Zelenskyy added.

Read all the updates from June 23 here.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies