“The Ukraine relief package is more than just charity,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. “American security and strategic interests will be shaped by the outcome of this conflict,” he argued, a few hours before a vote in the upper house of Congress, which should, without much surprise, approve this funding.
– “Continuity of institutions” –
Within this large aid package: 6 billion dollars which should enable Ukraine to equip itself with armored vehicles and strengthen its anti-aircraft defense at a time when fighting is raging in the east and the south of the country.
Nearly 9 billion dollars are also planned to ensure, among other things, “the continuity of Ukrainian democratic institutions”, as well as a large humanitarian component.
In mid-March, Congress had already released nearly 14 billion dollars for the Ukrainian crisis.
But US President Joe Biden has been calling for a huge budget extension for several weeks to support Ukraine in the new phase of the conflict.
Joe Biden regularly expresses his desire to lead the great fight of democracies against authoritarian regimes. However, according to the American president, the resources provided by the United States to help Ukraine were about to dry up.
The US House of Representatives already approved this $40 billion — the equivalent of Cameroon’s GDP in 2020 — last week.
– “Pay” or “pay it” –
A rarity in a Congress so accustomed to political wrangling: these measures enjoy very broad cross-partisan support.
“When it comes to Putin, we choose to either pay now or pay him later,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who called at the start of the conflict to assassinate the Russian president.
After being confined to weapons seen as defensive, Washington is now sending artillery, helicopters and drones to the Ukrainian army, whose soldiers are trained in the use of these weapons in the United States or in third countries before returning to the front. .
Some 9 billion dollars of the funds that Congress is preparing to approve must also allow the Americans to replenish their own armament stocks.
A traditional ally of American presidents in foreign policy, the Senate also confirmed Bridget Brink, a career diplomat, as the country’s new ambassador to Ukraine on Wednesday evening.
The United States had not had an ambassador in kyiv since 2019.