WASHINGTON: US president Joe Biden yesterday asked US Congress for US$33 billion to arm and and support Ukraine through September.
According to CNBC, the $33 billion includes a request for $20.4 billion in additional security and military assistance for Ukraine, as well as additional money to fund U.S. efforts to bolster European security in cooperation with NATO allies.
Speaking in the White House, Biden also proposed new laws to allow using the seized Russian oligarchs luxury assets under sanctions to compensate Ukraine for the destruction caused by Russia invasion.
“The cost of this fight is not cheap. But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen,” he said.
Biden confirmed that the US has already sent 10 tank-killing weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian troops, but he denied US is indirectly attacking Russia.
“We’re not attacking Russia. We are helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression,” Biden said.
US$20 billion from the US$33 billion package will be in military and other security assistance. This means weapons and ammunition flowing to the Ukrainian people”, according to senior US official.
Another portion of the $33 billion is a sum of $8.5 billion to help support the Ukrainian economy, the official said.
Biden said the direct U.S. aid to Ukraine’s economy is “going to allow pensions and social support to be paid to the Ukrainian people, so that they have something in their pocket.”
Another $3 billion will help provide more traditional humanitarian assistance in the form of wheat and other commodities to people outside Ukraine who have been hurt by the dramatic rise in the price of food caused by the war.