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US Treasury Secretary: Congressional inaction on Ukraine aid is 'gift' to Putin

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 7, 2024 7:58 PM 2 min read
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks at a Multilateral Development Bank roundtable during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group in Washington, DC, on April 12, 2023. (Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The ongoing impasse on U.S. aid for Ukraine is "nothing short of a gift to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin" and other American adversaries, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on March 7.

Aid for Ukraine and other U.S. allies have been stalled in Congress for months, largely over unrelated domestic political disputes.

The U.S. Senate passed a foreign aid bill on Feb. 13 containing $61 billion in funding for Ukraine, but House Speaker Mike Johnson has yet to put it to a vote in the House, despite pressure from the Senate and the White House.

"As the House continues to stall, Russia is gaining ground and Ukraine is being forced to ration ammunition and supplies," Yellen said ahead of a bilateral meeting in Washington with German Economy Minister Robert Habeck.

"The House must act and show the strength of the U.S support for Ukraine in the face of Putin's aggression," she added.

Yellen's comments echo those from other U.S. officials, who have argued that the impasse in Congress contributed to Ukraine's loss of the key front-line city of Avdiivka.

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said earlier in March that Putin is taking advantage of delays in U.S. aid to Ukraine to further Russian military efforts.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned during his visit to Lviv in February that Ukraine is at risk of losing the war without American aid, urging Johnson to put the bill to a vote.

According to internal U.S. estimates in February, Ukraine's ammunition shortage, exacerbated by the delay in U.S. aid, "could effectively turn the tide of the war and lend Putin a significant advantage."

Opinion: As an American in Avdiivka, what is Congress doing?
I am an American military veteran, callsign “Jackie,” and I am writing from Donbas in Ukraine. I am originally from Orange County, California. I served in the U.S. military for eight years, stationed in Colorado, South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. I also worked as a contractor at the
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