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WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday approved another $2 billion in loans and grants for Ukraine and its neighbors to buy US military equipment, the State Department said.

The new aid from the Foreign Military Financing program is in addition to $675 million in fresh direct aid to Ukraine announced earlier Thursday by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Russia threatens to stop exporting energy to Europe; Ukraine claims advances in the east

Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed Congress of the $2 billion "to bolster the security of Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors, including... many of our NATO allies as well as other regional security partners who are most potentially at risk for future Russian aggression," a State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The United States already authorized $4 billion in loans and grants to Ukraine and its neighbors in the fiscal year that ended in June.

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