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US promises major aid package for Ukraine's energy sector

US promises major aid package for Ukraine's energy sector
US promises major aid package for Ukraine's energy sector

 


US Vice President Kamala Harris has pledged $1.5 billion ($1.18 billion) in aid to Ukraine, mainly for the country's energy sector.

The funding, announced at a Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland, will help repair infrastructure damaged by Russian bombing.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that half of the country's electricity generation capacity was destroyed during the war.

He called on Western countries to provide more air defenses to protect both energy infrastructure and urban population centers, and some responded.

Russian attacks on the power grid have forced energy companies to institute periodic blackouts.

The package, from USAID and the State Department, includes $500 million in new money for energy assistance and $324 million redirected for emergency energy needs, a White House statement said. .

“These efforts will help Ukraine respond to Russia's latest attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure by supporting repair and reconstruction, improving Ukraine's resilience to energy supply disruptions, and laying the foundations for repair and expansion of Ukraine's energy system,” he added.

An additional $369 million has been pledged in humanitarian aid to help displaced people and conflict-affected communities, and an additional $300 million is planned to provide vital equipment to border guards and to law enforcement.

Since the start of the war, the United States has spent more than $3.2 million on humanitarian aid to Ukraine and nearly $1.5 billion on the energy sector, the statement added.

Ms Harris is taking part in the summit in the Swiss mountain resort of Burgenstock, which aims to discuss basic principles for ending the conflict in Ukraine, in the absence of President Joe Biden.

But with Russia not invited and key players like China remaining on the sidelines, expectations of significant progress at the summit are low.

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