U.S. Rejects Russia's Demand to Stop Sending Weapons to Ukraine

The United States has rebuffed a demand by the Russian government for the Biden administration to cease providing support to Ukraine.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the administration will continue offering help to the Ukrainian government in its fight against the Russian invasion. The Kremlin recently sent a formal note to the White House in which it warned the U.S. to stop assisting the Ukrainian military.

In the note, Moscow reportedly referred to U.S. assistance to Ukraine as unacceptable.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said the Biden administration will continue providing Ukrainians assistance despite a demand from the Russians to stop doing so. Above, Psaki is shown during a Monday briefing in Washington, D.C. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

At Monday's press briefing, Psaki was asked whether there was a cap on the aid that the U.S. gives Ukraine. She said the type of aid would vary. She also mentioned another possible package of assistance and what might be included.

"So, it might not be, over the next couple of weeks, the same size of assistance week-by-week. But in terms of what the next package will look like and what will be passed, I mean those are discussions and recommendations that the president will get from his military leaders. We'll have those discussions with Congress, so I'm not in a position to put a cap on it at this point in time," she said.

Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the United States, in an interview on a state-owned Russian-language TV channel, criticized the administration's assistance to the Ukrainians, saying their effort "does not contribute to the search for a diplomatic solution and settlement of the situation."

Antonov went on to say that "we demanded an end to this practice."

Also, on Monday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, while speaking to reporters in Poland, said that he would like to see Russia so badly "weakened" that the country would not be able to carry out any such operation in the future.

Psaki was asked about Austin's comments and whether fulfilling such an objective was part U.S. policy. She began by pointing back to a speech given by Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he said his goal for the invasion of Ukraine was to take over the sovereign integrity of the country.

"So, what Secretary Austin was talking about is our objective to prevent that from happening. Obviously, right now, the war is in Ukraine. They are, we're proud of the Ukrainians' success, their efforts to fight back, to push back on the Russian military, thanks to their bravery but also to our support. But yes, we are also looking to prevent them from expanding their efforts in President Putin's objectives beyond that, too," she said.

Last week, President Joe Biden announced that the United States, as part of an $800 million arms package, would be sending heavy military and ammunition to help aid the Ukrainians in their fight against the Russians.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.