Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited Ukraine on Monday to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Kyiv amid Russia’s invasion and announce $1.25 billion in aid for schools and hospitals.
The money is part of a $9.9 billion package of civilian assistance for Ukraine as its war with Russia enters its second year.
“Maintaining an effective government is indispensable to Ukraine’s capacity to respond to Russian attacks and other emergencies,” Yellen said. “Our economic support is keeping essential public services running. These services maintain economic and social stability in Ukraine.”
Speaking at a school in Kyiv that the US helped reconstruct after it was hit last March by a Russian missile, Yellen told the teachers and students that “America stands with you in this fight for freedom, and we will be by your side and help you rebuild.”
“Our funds help pay for emergency personnel: from firefighters who answer the call when missiles strike to medical professionals who treat sick and wounded civilians,” Yellen added.
Yellen met with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal during her visit, which came exactly one week after President Biden made a surprise appearance in Kyiv.
Shmyhal thanked the US for its assistance and called Yellen a “friend of Ukraine.”
The two also discussed international sanctions intended to weaken Russia’s economy and the possibility of using frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine’s economic recovery.
Yellen also reiterated warnings that China will suffer “really severe consequences” if the Beijing government, state-run businesses, or institutions provide support to Russia or help Moscow avoid sanctions.
“It’s something we wouldn’t tolerate,” she added.
Yellen said that the US has sent more than $50 billion in economic, military and humanitarian assistance since the war began last Feb. 24.
“Just as security assistance bolsters the front lines, I believe that this economic assistance is fortifying the home front, thereby strengthening Ukraine’s resistance,” she said.
With Post wires
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