WASHINGTON — The US Senate on Thursday approved $12 billion in new economic and military aid to Ukraine as part of a temporary federal budget extension through December.
The measure, agreed to by senators from both sides, includes $3 billion worth of weapons, supplies and salaries for Ukraine’s military and authorizes President Joe Biden to order the US Department of Defense to purchase for $3,7 billion of its own weapons and equipment to be confiscated and sent to Ukraine.
It also allocates $4,5 billion to Kyiv to maintain the stability of the country’s finances and the functioning of the government by providing services to the Ukrainian people.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to declare on Friday the annexation of parts of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops.
“Seven months into the conflict, it is clear that American aid has helped the people of Ukraine resist Putin’s vicious and vicious aggression,” said Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer.
“But the fight is far from over, and we must, we must continue to help the brave people of Ukraine.”
Aid to Ukraine is part of a short-term extension of the federal budget, which is due to expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30, without the parties in Congress agreeing on an allocation for the financial year 2022-23.
Extending or continuing the resolution will allow the government to operate until December, but must first be approved by the House of Representatives to avoid shutting down parts of the government on Monday.
Without a lasting resolution, some departments, but not all, would remain closed on Monday and their employees would be furloughed without pay.
With just 40 days to go until the midterm congressional elections, both parties are sensitive to how a shutdown would affect voters.
If the budget measure passes the House of Representatives, the budget measure will fund the government until December 16, a time when lawmakers hope it will be easier to reach a compromise on the full-year budget without that electoral politics hangs over their heads.
The temporary budget measure also included funds for Afghan refugees, heating subsidies for low-income families this winter and aid for Jackson, Mississippi, which has been hit by a severe water crisis.
The new allocation for Ukraine was $65 billion, the amount the US government has allocated to the country since the start of the year.
- Editor/ additional report by AFP