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Biden allocates $200 million aid package to Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 12, 2023 11:12 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and U.S. President Joe Biden meet in the Oval Office of the White House on Dec. 12, 2023. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The White House has allocated $200 million in drawdown funds for Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden told President Volodymyr Zelensky during his visit to Washington D.C. on Dec. 12.

Concerns for the continuation of U.S. support to Ukraine are growing after months of infighting in Congress over government spending, including military aid for Ukraine.

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby hinted on Dec. 11 that the White House was likely to arrange another support package for Ukraine before the end of 2023.

Biden did not specify the exact contents of the aid package, which will likely be one of the last until Congress passes additional funding. Drawdowns allow the White House to use Defense Department stocks to deliver military aid in crisis situations.

The Ukrainian head of state arrived in the U.S. on Dec. 11, seeking to reinvigorate support for Ukraine. A $61-billion funding request for Ukraine has been stalled amid political infighting in Congress and opposition from parts of the Republican Party.

Zelensky delivered his address to the U.S. Senate on Dec. 12, emphasizing the crucial role of Washington's support.

Previously, Zelensky was supposed to give an address to Congress on Dec. 5 ahead of a vote on a funding bill that included aid for Ukraine, but it was canceled at the last minute.

Republicans blocked the funding bill in a narrow vote on Dec. 6, insisting that any further aid for Ukraine or Israel must include significant changes to the U.S. border and immigration policy.

White House Budget Office Director Shalanda Young informed congressional leaders in a letter on Dec. 4. that the U.S. is set to run out of funds to support Ukraine in the coming weeks if Congress does not take action.

"There is no magical pot of funding available," Young warned. "We are out of money—and nearly out of time."

Zelensky stresses US aid importance in address to Senate
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered his address to the U.S. Senate on Dec. 12, emphasizing the crucial role of Washington’s support.
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