Ukraine update: Yellen visits to Kyiv, announces $1.25 billion transfer; China decries US sanctions as ‘bullying’

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made an unannounced visit to Kyiv today, a week after President Biden’s surprise visit to Ukraine’s capital. 

Axios reported that Yellen is in Ukraine’s capital to announce the transfer of $1.25 billion from yet another $10 billion in U.S.-pledged economic and budget assistance to Ukraine announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday. 

A U.S. Department of Transportation official told the news outlet that Yellen will stress that the economic assistance from the U.S. and its allies is crucial in providing Ukraine’s government with critical services and preserving Ukraine’s economic resilience, in turn “bolstering Ukraine’s ability to succeed on the battlefield,” the official said.

Echoing what has become the unofficial wartime mantra of the West, Yellen pledged that the U.S. “will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes” in remarks during a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Treasury secretary added that “the U.S. is proud to be Ukraine’s largest bilateral donor.”

In other words, Washington D.C.’s blank check to Ukraine will continue to siphon tens of billions of dollars out of American taxpayers and into the Ukraine war machine with little to no oversight and no end in sight.

Blinken told the United Nations Security Council on Friday: “This week, as a result of the bipartisan support of Congress, the United States began disbursing $9.9 billion in additional budgetary support to the Government of Ukraine.” Blinken asserted that the new spending is “crucial to Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia and ensures the Ukrainian government can continue to meet the critical needs of its citizens, including healthcare, education, and emergency services.”

The move is likely to fan the flames of what has become a divisive political issue in the U.S. Several Republicans have been vocal in their objections to the tens of billions the Biden administration has poured into Ukraine amid the Russian invasion — including arms deliveries that have been shrinking U.S. stockpiles — at a time when the nation is grappling with multiple domestic crises, including persistent inflation, an exploding migrant crisis, and the toxic train derailment in Ohio that has impacted several states. 


China has accused the U.S. of “outright bullying” over new sanctions imposed on Chinese companies linked to Russia as geopolitical tensions over the war in Ukraine continue to ratchet up between Washington, Beijing, and Moscow.

The Hill reported that China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters on Monday that the U.S. “has intensified its efforts to send weapons to one of the parties to the conflict, resulting in an endless war,” and that Washington “has frequently spread false information about China’s supply of weapons to Russia, taking the opportunity to sanction Chinese companies for no reason. This is outright bullying and double standards,” she said.

The U.S. State Department announced last week that it had imposed sanctions on Chinese or Chinese-linked companies that the Biden administration says are aiding Russia. 

The move followed U.S. intelligence reports that China is considering providing lethal aid to Russia in its war on Ukraine as the Kremlin faces rapidly dwindling stockpiles of weapons and ammunition as well as significant troop losses.

Mao said the U.S. sanctions are “illegal” and “have no basis in international law or authorization from the Security Council.” 

“We call on the U.S. to reflect on its behavior, bear in mind what is good for the world, and do something that will actually help de-escalate the situation and get peace talks going,” she continued. Mao also warned the U.S. “to stop spreading disinformation and withdraw the sanctions on Chinese companies” or face “resolute countermeasures,” per a Foreign Ministry transcript.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday that Russia remains open to talks with Ukraine only if Kyiv is willing to accept “territorial realities,” Reuters reported.

Peskov asserted that Moscow would never cede any territory it annexed last year following referendums that Kyiv and the West slammed as illegal land grabs.

“There are certain realities that have already become an internal factor. I mean the new territories,” Peskov said. “The constitution of the Russian Federation exists and cannot be ignored. Russia will never be able to compromise on this. These are important realities.” 

Russia proclaimed it had annexed the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions last September in an elaborate ceremony in Moscow. Russia so far has been unable to fully control any of the four regions in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance and recently launched a new offensive in a revived attempt to “liberate” them.

Ukraine has insisted that it won’t consider any peace plan that does not include the removal of every last Russian from Ukrainian territory, including the Crimean Peninsula Russa annexed in 2014.


Peskov made the remarks after politely declining to accept a peace plan proposal from China, saying that the conditions are not right at this time to pursue the plan proffered by Beijing last Friday on the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion.

“We paid a lot of attention to our Chinese friends’ plan,” Peskov said Monday, per the Moscow Times. “For now, we don’t see any of the conditions that are needed to bring this whole story towards peace,” he added.

China’s plan was met with skepticism by the West in light of the strengthening ties between Beijing and Moscow. Moreover, the vague language of the proposal, which lacked any meaningful steps to achieve a ceasefire, suggested a poorly disguised attempt to counter suspicion that China is planning to provide material support to Russia.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) recently offered insight into why China is increasingly viewed as a key player in the ongoing conflict.

“China is one of Russia’s closest partners, but supporting the invasion of Ukraine would seriously damage Beijing’s ties with wealthy democracies and alienate Chinese citizens who oppose the invasion,” the Council wrote. At the same time, China has a vested interested in seeing Russia achieve its objectives in the war and to ensure that Moscow’s government remains intact. 

“China is a manufacturing power but resource-poor, so it needs Russian energy, while Russia has enormous energy reserves but needs investment and help broadening its economic base,” it said.