The measure supported by Biden will provide $6.5 billion to the Pentagon for military assistance, $6.7 billion to care for refugees.
The US Senate gave final approval to a $13.6 billion emergency humanitarian and military aid package for Ukraine and its European allies on Thursday night, sending the bill to President Joe Biden, who has said who will sign the measure.
“We are giving Ukrainians billions for food, medicine, shelter and support for the more than two million refugees who have had to leave Ukraine,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, adding that the funds would provide Javelin “arms transfers.” anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
The aid to Ukraine was attached to a $1.5 trillion annual spending bill that passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday and passed the Senate amid growing anger among US lawmakers over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that has forced more than 2.5 million people to flee their homes and killed thousands.
President Biden reaffirmed Thursday that US and NATO allies were sending more weapons and aid to Ukraine.
“We will make sure Ukraine has weapons to defend itself against an invading Russian force. We will send money, food and aid to save the Ukrainian people,” Biden said in remarks at the White House.
The United States has sent more than $1 billion in security assistance and military aid to Ukraine over the past year, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons, “with new shipments arriving every day,” Biden said.
Vice President Kamala Harris visiting Poland announced on Thursday $53 million in U.S. humanitarian support to Ukraine, leading to $107 million in humanitarian aid provided in the past two weeks along with hundreds of millions in additional aid from 30 other countries, the US president
Tens of thousands of tons of humanitarian supplies, food, water and medicine are shipped to Ukraine daily by truck and train, he said.
Biden and other NATO leaders are under increasing pressure to help Ukraine as images of death and destruction wrought by Russian forces reach Western nations.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the $13.6 billion allocates about $6.5 billion to the Pentagon for military assistance and about $6.7 billion to care for refugees and provide economic aid to Europe’s allies. from the east.
She said the bill is likely just the start of much broader aid for Ukraine’s war effort, which other US officials have said could take years or decades.
Meanwhile, a group of 40 Republican US senators are imploring the Biden administration in a letter to change course and allow the transfer of MiG fighter jets from Poland to the Ukrainians to fight the Russian invasion.
“Stop talking. People are dying,” Sen. Mitt Romney said Thursday at a news conference on Capitol Hill. “Send them the planes they need.”
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, approached members of Congress to discuss the issue of Polish MiGs with lawmakers, the senators said.
Poland took the United States by surprise on Tuesday with its public offer to swap its Russian-made MiG fighter jets for new American-made F-16 fighters. He intended to hand them over to the US at a US airbase, which would allow the MiGs to be reflagged in Germany and transferred to Ukraine, but the The United States and NATO rejected the proposal. likely to lead to an expansion of the war.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins said it was hard to see the destruction, especially the Russian airstrike on a maternity hospital, and oppose providing Ukrainians with “these essential aircraft.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy implored US lawmakers over the weekend to supply Polish MiGs to help his people defend against Russia’s attack.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said in a pair of tweets that not sending MiGs to Ukraine was “a huge misstep.”
We must not allow Putin to determine the course of action we take to provide military assistance to the Ukrainians.
The MiG denial is a huge misstep in the effort to support Ukraine.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 11, 2022