U.S. Aid to Ukraine Hangs in the Balance as Congress Debates New Funding Package

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.04 - 2024 9:20 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
U.S. Aid to Ukraine Hangs in the Balance as Congress Debates New Funding Package.

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The United States has reached a critical juncture regarding aid for Ukraine, as reported by the Kyiv Independent.

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby announced on January 3 that the U.S. has exhausted its existing funds for Ukrainian aid. Kirby emphasized that "there's no other magical pot to dip into" unless Congress approves a new funding package. This follows the U.S. State Department's announcement on December 27 of a $250 million military aid package for Ukraine, which utilized the remaining earmarked funds.

A substantial $61.4 billion aid bill for Ukraine was earlier blocked by Republicans in the Senate due to the absence of stringent measures on U.S. border and immigration policy​​​​.

Despite the funding constraints, Kirby noted that Ukraine would continue to receive the items allocated on December 27 for the "coming days and weeks" due to a lag between the signing of funding packages and their actual delivery. However, he stated that he is not "aware of any Band-Aid fix that can be done" in the absence of a decision by Congress, highlighting the urgency of the situation​​​​.

Independent U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema mentioned on January 3 that the Senate was nearing an agreement on border security measures, which could facilitate the approval of a funding package for Ukraine. Yet, the prospect of such a bill passing both the House and Senate remains uncertain, as other Republican lawmakers have expressed skepticism about its likelihood​​​​.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has repeatedly recognized the vital role of U.S. support in Ukraine's war efforts. In an interview with CNN, Kuleba stated, "We don't have a plan B (if U.S. aid ends), we are confident in plan A," reflecting Ukraine's reliance on continued U.S. support. He added, "Ukraine will always fight with the resources given to it"​​.

Additionally, Kirby highlighted the ongoing Russian aggression, stating that there is no evidence of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's readiness to negotiate.