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U.S. to aid Ukraine in building force against Russia - Pentagon

U.S. to aid Ukraine in building force against Russia - Pentagon Photo: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (Getty Images)

The United States, together with allies, will help Ukraine build forces that "can ward off Russian aggression in the coming years", according to a statement by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, reports Pentagon press service.

"So together with our allies and partners, we are determined to help Ukraine consolidate and extend its battlefield gains, and to build a future force that can ward off Russian aggression in the years ahead," he said.

Austin added that the U.S. is resolute in its commitment to assist Ukraine in defending its territory and citizens.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. King once said that, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. We are living in just such a time. And we must all decide on where we stand. So we are determined to help Ukraine fight to defend its territory and its citizens," stated the head of the Pentagon.

He also stated that the U.S. intends to deter Russia from further aggression, particularly against NATO allies, and to show the world that America will not falter in defending freedom.

Issues with U.S. financial aid to Ukraine

Ukraine is on the brink of losing military support from the U.S. due to delays in the approval of financial aid packages by the American Congress.

On December 6, the Senate blocked the start of debates on President Joe Biden's $106 billion aid package, which includes over $61 billion allocated for Ukraine's defense needs. The reason behind this was the Republicans' demand to include tougher provisions regarding the protection of the U.S. southern border with Mexico in the bill.

President Joe Biden criticized the Senate's decision and accused the Republicans of engaging in political games.

Meanwhile, the White House is willing to compromise on strengthening border crossing rules for migrants to secure Republican votes for approving aid to Ukraine.