Biden told a news conference today: he wants another $ 33 billion for Ukraine

The proposal includes more than $ 20 billion in military assistance to strengthen defense in Ukraine and neighboring countries.

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will ask Congress for an additional $ 33 billion to prevent Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, two administration officials said Thursday, a major boost to US efforts to support a war that is strengthening Kiev and will not end soon.

Biden’s latest proposal, which officials say will last five months, includes more than $ 20 billion in military aid to strengthen defense in Ukraine and nearby countries. In addition, $ 8.5 billion in economic aid has been allocated to help the government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky continue to operate, and $ 3 billion has been allocated for food and humanitarian programs and other expenses to help civilians. speak openly.

The proposal would more than double the initial $ 13.6 billion in defense and economic aid package for Ukraine and Western allies passed by Congress last month. This seemed to be a sign that the United States had made a long-term commitment to prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin from trying to expand control over his neighbor and possibly beyond his people.

For the ninth week in a row, the demand comes amid escalating fighting in the eastern and southern parts of the country and growing international tensions as Russia cuts off gas supplies to two NATO allies, Poland and Bulgaria.

There is broad, bipartisan support in Congress to provide Ukraine with all the help it needs to fight the Russians, and in the end its approval seems clear. But Biden and Democrats in Congress also want lawmakers to approve billions more to fight the pandemic, and Republicans’ push to confuse the measure with the extension of some Trump-era immigration restrictions is uncertain how the proposal will go into effect.

Biden also asked Congress on Thursday for new powers to seize and reuse the assets of Russian oligarchs.

He wants lawmakers to criminalize “knowingly or intentionally misappropriating proceeds from corrupt deals with the Russian government,” to double the time limit for money laundering, and to “expand the definition.” Under U.S. law, racketeering involves attempts to evade sanctions.

Biden will also ask Congress to allow the federal government to use the proceeds from the sale of seized assets of sanctioned Russian oligarchs to help the Ukrainian people.

In a virtual address to the heads of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank last week, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called for the use of sanctioned property and Central Bank reserves to compensate for Ukraine’s losses.

According to him, the frozen Russian assets “should be used to rebuild Ukraine after the war, as well as to compensate for the losses suffered by other nations.”

Finance Minister Janet Yellen said at the time that Congress needed to take action to allow such actions.

World Bank President David Malpass said last week that the war had already damaged more than $ 60 billion in buildings and infrastructure. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that the Ukrainian economy will shrink by 35% this year and next.

In recent weeks, the United States and its global allies have imposed sanctions on dozens of oligarchs and their families, along with hundreds of Russian officials suspected of involvement in or supporting the invasion of Ukraine. The White House says the new tools will make it harder to evade sanctions and increase the impact of sanctions on the Russian economy and its ruling class.

Biden warned last week that the $ 6.5 billion in security aid to Ukraine could soon “run out” and that Congress needed to approve additional funding. More than half of the approved money for weapons and equipment for the Ukrainian army has already been withdrawn.

Associated Press writer Fatima Hussein contributed to the report.

Biden told a news conference today: he wants another $ 33 billion for Ukraine

Source link Biden told a news conference today: he wants another $ 33 billion for Ukraine

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