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90 tonnes of lethal aid from the United States has arrived in Ukraine, amid tensions over Russia’s troop buildup on the border.

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It was the first shipment of a recently approved US military aid package for Ukraine, and it included ammunition for “front-line defenders.”

The delivery came on the heels of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Kyiv earlier this week, during which he warned of a harsh response if Russia invaded.

Moscow has denied any intention of attacking or invading Ukraine.

In December, US President Joe Biden approved a $200 million (£147.5 million) security assistance package.

According to the US embassy in Kyiv, the shipment demonstrates the US’s “firm commitment to Ukraine’s sovereign right to self-defense.”

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“The US will continue to provide such assistance to Ukraine’s Armed Forces in their ongoing effort to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian aggression,” the US said on Facebook.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov expressed gratitude to the United States for the assistance.

The shipment arrived just hours after Russia’s foreign minister and his US counterpart held “frank” talks to try to avoid a wider conflict in Ukraine.

Russia has previously seized Ukrainian territory – Crimea in 2014 – and the head of the military alliance Nato has warned that there is a real risk of a new conflict in Europe following the amassing of an estimated 100,000 Russian forces on the border.

Moscow has denied any plans for an invasion, but President Vladimir Putin has issued demands to the West regarding Russia’s security, including preventing Ukraine from joining Nato.

He also wants Nato to stop military exercises and weapons deliveries to Eastern Europe, which he sees as a direct threat to Russia’s security.

 

 

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