U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced a significant new aid package for Ukraine on Saturday, totaling $1.5 billion. A third of this package is dedicated to bolstering Ukraine’s energy

sector, which has been severely damaged by Russian attacks.

Since Russia's invasion began, Ukraine's energy infrastructure has been a primary target of drone and missile strikes. In May, the Kyiv School of Economics estimated that damages to the sector had already exceeded $16.1 billion, leading to frequent rolling blackouts. The new aid package from the US aims to address these issues by focusing on repairing and protecting energy infrastructure, expanding power generation, and encouraging investment in the sector.

The $1.5 billion aid package includes $500 million specifically for energy infrastructure projects. Additionally, $370 million is allocated for humanitarian assistance, covering essential needs such as food aid, healthcare, and access to drinking water. Another $300 million is earmarked for Ukrainian civil security assistance, supporting border guards and police forces. Since the conflict's onset, the United States has provided more than $4.7 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Vice President Harris announced the new aid package during a two-day peace summit in Switzerland. The summit, attended by representatives from over 100 countries and organizations, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, aims to chart a path toward peace between Ukraine and Russia. Zelensky is expected to seek support for a 10-point peace plan he introduced in 2022. However, with Russia not invited and key players like China absent, expectations for significant progress at the summit remain low.

The new aid package is a welcome development for President Zelensky, who has been calling for increased international support as Moscow intensifies its attacks in the Kharkiv region. In a related move, European Union member state ambassadors agreed on a negotiating framework for accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova. Belgium, as the current president of the Council, will convene the two intergovernmental conferences on June 25 to formally launch these negotiations.

This comprehensive aid package highlights the continued commitment of the United States to support Ukraine amidst ongoing conflict, addressing both immediate humanitarian needs and long-term infrastructure challenges. Photo by Noobuster007, Wikimedia commons.