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Top US officials urge Congress to approve $11.8 bn in budget aid for Ukraine

“Without adequate and timely direct budget support, Ukraine will be unable to defend itself and thwart Russia’s further encroachment toward NATO countries,” the officials said.
US and Ukraine flags. Credit: Embassy of Ukraine in the US/Facebook
Top US officials urge Congress to approve $11.8 bn in budget aid for Ukraine

Top officials from US President Joe Biden’s administration have called on Congress to approve $11.8 billion in budgetary support for Ukraine.

In a joint letter, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power explained that direct budget aid for Ukraine is critical to its battlefield success. They stated that such assistance helps sustain Ukraine’s government and economy, enabling it to focus resources on defense.

They noted Ukraine has taken “painful measures” to eliminate non-essential spending, with military expenditures now exceeding 100% of its tax revenues. This makes Ukraine “entirely dependent” on foreign support to maintain its government and economy, according to the letter.

“Without adequate and timely direct budget support, Ukraine will be unable to defend itself and thwart Russia’s further encroachment toward NATO countries,” the officials said.

While Canada and the EU are providing more aid as a percentage of GDP, the officials said these and other sources are insufficient to cover Ukraine’s budget shortfall. The $11.8 billion is the minimum required to meet Ukraine’s basic needs, they argued.

President Biden has previously urged Congress to support assistance for both Ukraine and Israel in a new $106 billion aid package, including over $61 billion for Ukraine. The $11.8 billion would come from this broader package.

However, House Speaker Mike Johnson insists Ukraine and Israel aid be considered separately, with Ukraine’s tied to border security funding.

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