Providing economic support for Kyiv amid Russia's all-out war is as vital as providing security assistance, U.S. Special Representative for Economic Recovery in Ukraine Penny Pritzker said in an editorial for The Hill published Jan. 21.
Pritzker made the case for a strong investment in Ukraine as U.S. legislators continue to disagree on a supplemental funding bill for $61 billion in military and humanitarian aid. Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked the initiative in December, demanding concessions on border and immigration policy.
Pritzker said that supporting Ukraine comes with "global stakes" and that the argument for military aid "couldn’t be stronger."
"The case for American economic support has been just as important as that for security assistance," she said.
"Economic resilience is a core tenet of Ukraine’s war effort. Ukraine’s security and economy form a double helix — indelibly intertwined in the country’s effort to beat Putin."
Pritzker said that U.S. economic support directly funded Ukrainian defense, as tax dollars in Ukraine flow to the military and first responders. She also identified U.S. aid as a "force multiplier."
"Our support for Ukraine’s International Monetary Fund program generates additional support from donors around the world. ... Jeopardizing this could be catastrophic for Ukraine’s ability to defeat Russia," Pritzker said.
Pritzker directed her appeal to an American audience who might be more concerned about the domestic benefits of continuing to support Ukraine, emphasizing the role of military aid in creating jobs at home and improving U.S. defense tech.
She also said that U.S. assistance came with safeguards and accountability mechanisms "to ensure that every hard-earned American taxpayer dollar goes where it is supposed to go."
"U.S. support is an investment, not charity," Pritzker said.
U.S. President Joe Biden announced the new position of U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine's Economic Recovery on Sept. 14 and appointed Pritzker to the role.
Pritzker visited Kyiv on Jan. 12 to meet with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and other top Ukrainian officials.
"The key theme is the strengthening of the Ukrainian economy, the short-term recovery, and long-term development," Shmyhal said regarding the meeting.