US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the United States’ commitment to restoring Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure during a press conference on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Bucharest on Wednesday.
“The United States will commit over $53 million to send equipment to help stabilize Ukraine’s energy grid and keep Ukraine’s power and electricity running. We’ve also submitted a request to Congress for $1.1 billion to secure Ukraine and Moldova’s energy sector and restore their energy supply,” Blinken said.
“That’s going to get to Ukraine, not in a matter of months, but in a matter of days or weeks, again, to make sure that we’re helping get the electric grid back and functioning,” he added.
The Secretary of State also confirmed that Ukraine had received air defence systems from the United States and was now considering the most effective way to deploy them.
“As we’re providing and continue to provide Ukraine with air defence systems, Ukraine is thinking about the most effective way to deploy them not just to protect civilians and cities, but to protect the infrastructure,” Blinken said.
Yesterday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had specifically requested US-made Patriot missile systems during a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The supply of Patriot missile systems to Ukraine would mark a significant upgrade to the air defence systems currently being provided by NATO allies and could mark an escalation in the conflict.
Nevertheless, Stoltenberg has confirmed that the supply of sophisticated surface-to-air missile systems is being considered among allies.