US to approve aid package for Ukraine faster than transfer of frozen Russian assets - Ambassador to US
Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova believes that Congress will approve an aid package for Ukraine faster than the transfer of frozen Russian assets
Makarova said this in a comment for Voice of America.
According to her, the priority for the Ukrainian embassy is for Congress to approve a $61 billion aid package. The Pentagon is currently actively helping Kyiv.
"Actually, the US Department of Defense and Secretary Austin personally ... are doing a lot to help us in any situation as much as possible. Some departments are very active in allocating from their own stocks. However, we also have to understand that the sooner this bill (on $61 billion in additional funding - ed.) is passed, the less we will need to ask ordinary servicemen to be heroic here. They must also act absolutely within their own rules," the ambassador said.
Markarova emphasized that, despite the lack of new aid packages, Ukraine continues to receive support from the United States through previous procurements.
"There were a lot of allocations in the summer, especially those purchased under the USAI program. Remember, there were big packages of $3 billion, $2 billion? These were all purchases. Therefore, supplies continue. And if we don't see any new allocations, the deliveries are actually going on, there is no decrease. Does this mean that we have enough weapons? No, it doesn't" she explained.
At the same time, frozen Russian assets may become one of the funding sources. Work on their confiscation began last year. The ambassador believes that Congress will approve a new aid package for Kyiv sooner than the procedure for transferring Russian assets will be agreed upon, as this decision requires the approval of many countries.
- On November 16, 2023, the US Senate passed a bill to temporarily fund the government until January 19, 2024, without funding to support Ukraine and Israel.
- At the same time, on December 7, the US Senate failed a procedural vote to begin work on legislation to provide emergency assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan worth about $106 billion.
- On December 22, Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides a record $886 billion for defense needs in fiscal year 2024.
- On January 6, Bloomberg reported, citing an informed source, that US House Speaker Mike Johnson is considering direct talks with President Joe Biden on aid to Ukraine and border policy as negotiations on a bipartisan compromise in the Senate drag on.
- On January 7, US congressional leaders reached an agreement on federal spending in 2024 to prevent a partial government shutdown later this month.
- On January 8, reports indicated that the US was preparing a deal on border and immigration that would unblock aid to Ukraine.