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US announces $1.5 billion aid for Ukraine at Swiss peace summit

Kamala Harris
US Vice President Kamala Harris arrives at the Bürgenstock resort on Saturday Keystone Pool / Michael Buholzer

US Vice President Kamala Harris has announced more than $1.5 billion (CHF1.3 billion) in aid in part for Ukraine’s energy sector and its humanitarian situation as a result of Russia’s 27-month invasion of Ukraine.

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The announcement was made as Harris attended a Ukraine peace summit above Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, where she met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and was due to address the summit’s plenary session.

“This war remains an utter failure for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Harris said during a bilateral meeting with Zelensky. “It is in our interest to uphold international norms,” she added, pledging US support for the country.

+ Swiss summit kick-starts Ukraine peace process

The $1.5 billion includes $500 million in new funding for energy assistance and the redirecting of $324 million in previously announced funds towards emergency energy infrastructure repair and other needs in Ukraine, the vice president’s office said.

“These efforts will help Ukraine respond to Russia’s latest attacks on Ukraine energy infrastructure by supporting repair and recovery, improving Ukraine’s resilience to energy supply disruptions, and laying the groundwork to repair and expand Ukraine’s energy system,” Harris’s office said.

She also announced more than $379 million in humanitarian assistance from the State Department and the US Agency for International Development to help refugees and other people affected by the war.

+ Final guest list published for Swiss summit on peace in Ukraine

The money is to cover food assistance, health services, shelter, and water, sanitation and hygiene services for millions of Ukrainians.

Bilateral security agreement

Harris, who will spend less than 24 hours at the gathering at the Bürgenstock resort, will be standing in for President Joe Biden at the event. The president will be just ending his participation at the G7 summit in Italy and returning to the United States to attend a fundraiser for his re-election campaign in Los Angeles.

Biden met Zelensky both at the G7 summit, where they signed a US-Ukraine bilateral security agreement, and in France for events surrounding the 80th anniversary of the Second World War D-Day invasion.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan will represent the United States at the summit on Sunday and help establish working groups on returning Ukrainian children from Russia and on energy security.

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