Join 10,000+ Kyiv Independent members todaySupport our reporting
Friday, March 24, 2023

US defense bill includes $300 million aid for Ukraine

by Natalia DatskevychDecember 8, 2021 9:39 pm
The U.S. 2022 annual defense spending bill includes $300 million in aid for Ukraine. (Defense Ministry of Ukraine)

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the 2022 annual defense spending bill, which includes $300 million in aid for Ukraine, on Dec. 7. 

The total budget amount is $770 billion. The Senate is due to vote on the bill later this week.

The move comes a day after U.S. President Joe Biden spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin via a video conference about the increasing threat of the Kremlin's large-scale invasion of Ukraine.

As part of the bill, the Ukrainian armed forces would receive $300 million in 2022 under the Security Assistance Initiative. This includes $75 million for lethal weapons. The package is $50 million greater than Biden had requested earlier. 

At the same time, lawmakers wiped two Russia-related clauses from the bill — sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project and a ban on the purchase of Russian sovereign debt.

The Nord Stream 2 is an undersea pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany bypassing Ukraine. If launched, Ukraine may lose up to $2 billion in annual transit fees, as well as a deterrent against further Russian aggression.

Sanctions on Russia, particularly Nord Stream 2, have for months been a point of division in the U.S. 

In May, the Biden administration waived sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, a Swiss consortium owned by Russia's Gazprom state company that built the undersea pipeline to Germany. Biden sought to repair relations with Germany, which has been a proponent of the pipeline. 

This led to backlash. Republican Idaho Senator Jim Risch, a ranking member of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, said there is “no better way to deter Russian aggression against Ukraine than by stopping Putin’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline,” according to an NBC News report on Dec. 3.

The U.S. has provided over $2.5 billion in defense aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in 2014. This includes surveillance and communication systems, drones, patrol boats, and weapons such as Javelin anti-tank missiles.

Read more: What we know about Biden-Putin call on threatening invasion of Ukraine

In November, the Kremlin deployed nearly 100,000 troops near Ukraine and in occupied territories in what many consider a possible preparation for large-scale military action.

According to Ukrainian and Western intelligence, Russia might employ between 94,000 and 175,000 troops to potentially launch a large-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022.

Natalia Datskevych
Natalia Datskevych
Business reporter

Natalia Datskevych is a business reporter at the Kyiv Independent. Before joining the team, she worked as business reporter for the Kyiv Post. She studied economic theory at Kyiv National Economic University and holds a Ph.D in economic science.

Take part in something bigger
Imagining what it will be like after Ukraine wins keeps me going: partnering with Ukrainian businesses and scientists, organizing investment events and hosting our international colleagues in Kyiv. But our fight is far from over. Join our ranks.
Daryna Shevchenko, chief executive officer