Ukraine war: US Congress approves billions in aid to Ukraine

Ukraine war
US Congress approves billions in aid to Ukraine

A residential building was damaged in a nighttime Russian drone strike. The USA has approved aid for Ukraine, which is being attacked by Russia. photo

© –/ Ukrinform/dpa

There was no more US aid to Ukraine for months. Now Congress has released new funds. The delivery of new weapons could now happen quickly.

After months of stalemate, the US Congress, with the approval of the Senate, approved billions in aid for the country attacked by Russia Ukraine approved. US President Joe Biden wants to sign the law today, which provides aid worth around 61 billion US dollars (57 billion euros) for Kiev.

Biden announced immediately after Parliament approved the new billions in aid that the delivery of weapons and equipment to Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia, would begin this week.

When voting, 79 of the 100 senators voted for the law, which also contains billions in aid for Israel and Taiwan, and 18 voted against it. Approval in the parliamentary chamber, where the Democrats have a majority, was considered certain. The House of Representatives had already approved the bill over the weekend. The vote there was preceded by a months-long blockade.

Biden said Parliament had now answered “the call of history” and demonstrated the power of American leadership in the world. There is an urgent need for support: for Ukraine, which is under relentless bombardment from Russia, and for Israel, which has recently faced unprecedented attacks from Iran. “This important legislation will make our nation and our world safer as we support our friends who defend themselves against terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin.”

Pentagon: Ukraine aid to be delivered “within a few days”.

Ukraine is likely to receive initial US aid soon. According to consistent US media reports, the Pentagon has already prepared an initial package of comprehensive military aid in order to make the aid available to Ukraine as quickly as possible after the President signs the law. Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said they would be able to deliver new military aid “within a few days.” In Russia’s war of aggression, which has lasted more than two years, the USA is considered Ukraine’s most important ally.

The package provides, among other things, funds for increasing the US military inventory. This money therefore only goes indirectly to Ukraine, as the USA usually supplies the country attacked by Russia with equipment from its own stocks. The remainder is earmarked for further military support and financial assistance, including in the form of loans. The text also calls for the delivery of long-range ATACMS missile systems. To date, the US has delivered ATACMS with a range of 165 kilometers. However, Ukraine wants systems with a range of 300 kilometers.

Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky spoke on the phone at the beginning of the week. Zelenskyy said afterwards that details on the delivery of new long-range ATACMS missiles had been “finalized”. Zelenskyj did not yet provide any information about which model ATACMS the USA wanted to deliver.

Also aid for Israel and Taiwan as well as a TikTok ban

In addition to aid for Ukraine, the Senate approved a good $26 billion in support for Israel. This is intended, for example, to finance Israel’s missile defense and the ongoing US military operations in the region. Around nine billion US dollars are intended for humanitarian support, including for the people of the Gaza Strip. The package also includes around $8 billion in support for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region.

The law also contains a passage that is intended to force a change of ownership of the short video app Tiktok. The China-based Bytedance Group would have a maximum of one year after the law comes into force to separate from Tiktok. Otherwise, the app should be banned from American app stores. It is unclear whether the plan can stand up in US courts. An earlier threat to ban it failed there.

Long blockade due to dispute over aid to Ukraine

The vote in the House of Representatives was preceded by a months-long blockade. A power struggle raged in the Republican-dominated chamber over the Ukraine aid. Chairman Mike Johnson was under great pressure from the right-wing fringe of his party and prevented the vote in his chamber for a long time.

The hardliners threatened him with a vote of no confidence. They vehemently reject further US aid to Ukraine, arguing that taxpayers’ money should be spent first and foremost on protecting their own border and not on protecting other countries.

Previous US aid to Ukraine had expired. Kiev depends on US support. Since the war began in February 2022, President Biden’s administration has provided more than $44 billion in military assistance to Kyiv. There are also billions more in non-military financial aid.


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