US Announces $205 Million Humanitarian Aid Package for Ukraine
The Secretary of the United States Department of State, Anthony Blinken, announced on Friday a new package of $205 million (approximately €187 million) in humanitarian assistance for Ukraine.
“America’s humanitarian assistance provides the people of Ukraine with critical support that includes food, safe drinking water, protective services, education, livelihoods, legal assistance, accessible shelter, medical care, and more (…). These funds also help victims of the conflict maintain contact with separated family members and promote family reunification as soon as possible,” said Blinken in a statement.
In addition, he reiterated the call for an “immediate” end to the invasion and urged Russia to facilitate “unimpeded access” for humanitarian aid providers in Ukraine and ensure safe passage for those seeking to relocate.
“The response of the USA promotes overall security, economic recovery, energy security, and Ukraine’s ability to address the humanitarian crisis caused by the war with Russia,” added the Secretary of State.
Since the beginning of 2023, the United States has sent over $605 million (approximately €550 million) in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, which is intended for various humanitarian organizations operating in the country. Since the war started in February 2022, the US has provided over $2.1 billion (€1.9 billion) in such assistance.
Blinken Discusses US-China Relations with South Korean Foreign Minister
In addition, before departing for an important visit to China, Secretary Blinken had a telephone conversation with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin.
The call covered various topics, including bilateral relations between China and the USA, as well as South Korea’s relationship with China. The statement from the South Korean Foreign Ministry explained that they also discussed North Korea’s weapons program.
“Minister Blinken expressed support for our efforts to develop a healthy and mature cooperative relationship between Korea and China based on mutual respect. He plans to share the details of his upcoming visit to China with us as soon as possible,” the statement explained.
Seoul and Beijing have experienced a deterioration in ties in recent months, with tensions rising due to the South Korean government’s closer alignment with the United States. The Chinese ambassador to South Korea, Xing Haiming, received a summons from the South Korean Foreign Ministry and was severely admonished for his remarks warning against getting too close to Washington.
US-China Relations and North Korea’s Provocations Discussed
In recent years, the relationship between South Korea and China has been strained due to various factors, including the economic boycott initiated by Beijing in 2016 in response to the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea. The management of the pandemic and the conservative Yoon Suk-yeol’s presidency in Seoul, which has strengthened ties with Washington, have also contributed to the tensions.
Minister Park expressed his support for the US efforts to responsibly manage US-China relations, even in difficult circumstances, ahead of the first visit by a US Secretary of State to China in five years.
During the phone conversation, Park and Blinken also agreed to condemn North Korea’s provocations and emphasized that the denuclearization of Kim Jong-un’s regime would benefit the international community, including China.
(With information from Europa Press and EFE)