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White House: No money left for Ukraine aid without bill from Congress

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 4, 2024 9:51 AM 2 min read
US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby at a press briefing on Dec. 6, 2023. (Mandel NGAN / AFP via Getty Images)
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The U.S. has run out of existing money for aid for Ukraine, and "there's no other magical pot to dip into" unless Congress passes a new funding package, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Jan. 3.

The U.S. State Department announced a $250 military aid package for Ukraine on Dec. 27, exhausting the remaining funds already earmarked. A bill containing $61.4 billion in aid for Ukraine was blocked by Republicans in the Senate earlier in December because it did not contain strict measures on U.S. border and immigration policy.

Kirby said that due to a lag between the signing out of funding packages and their actual delivery, Ukraine will still receive items allocated on Dec. 27 for the "coming days and weeks."

After that, Kirby is not "aware of any Band-Aid fix that can be done" absent a decision by Congress, he added.

Independent U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema said on Jan. 3 that the Senate was "closing in" on a deal about border security measures that would pave the way for the approval of a funding package for Ukraine.

Other Republican lawmakers have cast doubt on the likelihood of a bill passing both the House and Senate.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has repeatedly acknowledged the centrality of the U.S.'s support to Ukraine's war effort, and said in an interview with CNN on Jan. 3 that "we don't have a plan B (if U.S. aid ends), we are confident in plan A."

"Ukraine will always fight with the resources given to it," he added.

Kirby emphasized that despite reports in some Western media, there was no evidence that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was ready to negotiate.

On the contrary, the mass attacks against Ukrainian cities in recent days illustrate that he is doing "everything he can to try to put the Ukrainians on their back feet, which is why it's so important that the supplemental funding request that the President (Joe Biden) put forward gets passed."

Kirby: US sees no misuse of arms by Ukrainian military
The Biden administration says that the U.S. weaponry provided to Ukraine “is being used appropriately on the field of battle,” John Kirby, a White House spokesperson for national security, told reporters on Jan. 3.

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