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Biden signs order offering additional $800M in military assistance to Ukraine

President Joe Biden
Posted at 11:09 AM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 13:29:15-04

Hours after Ukraine's president appealed directly to Congress and urged the U.S. to "do more" to aid his country amid a Russian invasion, President Joe Biden signed an order that will provide Ukraine with an additional $800 million in military equipment.

During his remarks on Wednesday, Biden said that the order would equip Ukraine with drones, anti-aircraft systems, firearms and 20 million rounds of ammunition.

However, Biden stopped short of providing Ukraine with fighter jets and the promise to enforce a no-fly zone — two things Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnkyy pleaded for in an address to Congress Wednesday morning.

In his speech, Zelenskyy called on the U.S. to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, invoking images of Sept. 11 and Pearl Harbor while describing how Russia has turned the sky "into a source of death for thousands of people."

Zelenskyy also addressed Biden directly, in English, and called on his counterpart to be a "leader of peace."

Despite Zelenskyy's pleas, Biden and NATO have been reluctant to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine. They believe such an action would force the U.S. and NATO to engage directly with Russian forces, which could cause war the war to spill out beyond Ukraine.

Biden's views mirror those of other NATO allies, who say they will continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine but will not engage with Russia directly unless they invade NATO territory.

Biden's order comes a day after he signed a budget bill that provides $13.6 billion in both military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.