Armament deliveries: USA: Regulation from the Second World War should help Ukraine

armament deliveries
USA: WWII regulation to help Ukraine

US President Joe Biden addresses the war in Ukraine in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP/dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

The US is making billions available to arm Ukraine against the aggressor Russia. The money is running out. Now a leasing law should help – similar to what happened in the Second World War.

Based on a regulation from the Second World War, the USA wants to facilitate the delivery of armaments to Ukraine and other Eastern European countries.

After the Senate, the House of Representatives also passed a corresponding bill. The President is temporarily authorized until 2023 to lend or lease military equipment to Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe affected by the Russian war of aggression. Certain formal requirements in the procedure are to be suspended.

The US Congress passed a similar lend-lease law in 1941 during the Second World War: This allowed America to quickly and in bulk supply armaments to the Allies fighting the National Socialists.

A large, cross-party majority in favor of the proposed legislation was achieved in the House of Representatives on Thursday. 417 MPs voted in favor, only ten against. US President Joe Biden has yet to sign the bill into law.

Strong words from Biden

The US government intends to continue to allocate huge sums of money to support Ukraine in the war against Russia. President Joe Biden announced in Washington on Thursday that he would ask Congress to approve an additional $33 billion (€31.4 billion). 20 billion of that should be used for military aid, about 8.5 billion for economic aid. “We have to do this,” Biden said during an appearance at the White House. The help is not cheap. But leaving Russia’s aggression unanswered would be even more expensive, he warned. “Either we support the Ukrainian people in defending their country, or we stand by while Russia continues its atrocities and aggression in Ukraine.”

The US government had previously launched several large packages of support for Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war at the end of February, the United States has promised or delivered weapons and ammunition worth more than 3.7 billion US dollars (around 3.5 billion euros) to the former Soviet republic.

Biden: Aid that has already been approved is not enough

The US Congress passed a budget in March that earmarked $13.6 billion in humanitarian, economic and military aid by the end of September. The money will also be used to increase US troops in Europe and to support neighboring countries that have taken in large numbers of Ukrainian refugees. However, the aid already approved is not enough, warned Biden and called on Congress to release the additional funds as quickly as possible. It is important to continue uninterrupted deliveries of arms, ammunition and other aid in the critical weeks ahead. The requested additional funds are invested until the end of September, i.e. until the end of the financial year.

Biden also proposed a series of legislative changes to Congress to crack down on Russian oligarchs. The aim is, for example, to be able to make better use of confiscated money from oligarchs to repair damage in Ukraine caused by Russia in the war.

Biden: «Russia is the aggressor»

He also dismissed allegations from Moscow that NATO was waging a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Biden complained about “disturbing rhetoric from the Kremlin” and emphasized: “We are not attacking Russia.” His government is helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression. “Russia is the aggressor.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had accused NATO of waging a proxy war in view of the arms deliveries to Kyiv. Lavrov also spoke of the real danger of a third world war. With a view to such threatening words, Biden emphasized: “We are prepared for everything they do.” He called Russian statements about the danger of world war and the possible use of nuclear weapons “irresponsible”.

Selenskyj thanks Biden for new billions in aid

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has welcomed the new US financial support in the war against Russia as an “important step”. In his daily video message, Zelenskyy thanked both US President Joe Biden and the American people for their help, which Congress will hopefully support “quickly.”

“President Biden rightly said today that this step is not cheap,” said Zelenskyj. «But the negative consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and against democracy for the whole world are so far-reaching that this support from the United States is necessary in comparison. Together we can certainly stop Russian aggression and reliably defend freedom in Europe.”


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