Americas, Russia-Ukraine War

US Senate approves $40B Ukraine aid package

House approved bill last week

Servet Günerigök   | 19.05.2022
US Senate approves $40B Ukraine aid package

WASHINGTON 

The US Senate approved a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine on Thursday as the war waged by Russia nears its third month.

The 86-1 vote sends the sweeping package to President Joe Biden's desk, who is expected to sign it. All of the opposition came from Republicans.

The House approved the bill last week.

The package is significantly more than the $33 billion requested by Biden in April as he and his administration continue to warn that existing funds and authorities to transfer arms from existing US stockpiles have run dry.

The bill would give Kyiv billions of dollars in new military and economic assistance and provide $5 billion to assist the global response to a growing food insecurity crisis and rising food prices caused by Russia's assault. Ukraine is normally a major food exporter and the war has had devastating effects on global agricultural markets.

There is $6 billion set aside to fund the arming, training and supplying of the Ukrainian military, with about $8.7 billion to replenish US weapons stocks that have been used to arm Kyiv.

An additional $3.9 billion is allocated for the US' European Command, and the bill would increase a congressional cap on funding for friendly nations from $450 million to $950 million.

The massive spending bill comes on top of roughly $13.6 billion allocated by Congress in March.

Biden praised Congress for the bipartisan passage that will allow the US "to send even more weapons and ammunition to Ukraine."

He thanked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.

"Together with the contributions of our Allies and partners, we will keep security, economic, food, and humanitarian assistance flowing to Ukraine, across the region, and around the world, and further strengthen Ukraine — both on the battlefield and at the negotiating table," he said in a statement.

At least 3,778 people have been killed and 4,186 injured in Ukraine since the start of the war on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is believed to be much higher.

More than 6.3 million people have fled to other countries, with 7.7 million people internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.




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