The amount is colossal. The American Congress validated, Thursday, May 19, aid of 40 billion dollars (37.7 billion euros) for Ukraine, a new illustration of the support promised by Joe Biden to kyiv.
Within this envelope, six billion dollars should enable Ukraine to equip itself with armored vehicles and strengthen its anti-aircraft defence. Nearly nine billion dollars are planned to ensure, among other things, “the continuity of Ukrainian democratic institutions”, and five billion must be used to fight global food insecurity.
After having confined itself to weapons seen as defensive, Washington is now sending artillery, helicopters and drones to the Ukrainian army, whose soldiers are trained in the handling of these weapons in the United States or in third countries, before returning to the forehead. Some nine billion dollars of the funds that Congress has approved must also allow the Americans to replenish their own armament stocks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky saluted “a significant contribution to the restoration of peace and security in Ukraine, in Europe and in the world”. The bill, already validated by the elected members of the House last week, only has to be ratified by President Biden.
Broad cross-partisan support
A rarity in a Congress so accustomed to political squabbles: these $40 billion in expenditures – the equivalent of Cameroon’s GDP in 2020 – benefited from very broad cross-partisan support.
“Aid measures for Ukraine are much more than just charity”assured the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, a few hours before the upper house of Congress approved this funding by a very large majority. “American security and strategic interests will be shaped by the outcome of this conflict”underlined the chosen one.
“When it comes to Putin, we choose to either pay now or pay it later”argued Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, usually reluctant to support Joe Biden’s policies.
In mid-March, Congress had already released nearly 14 billion dollars for the Ukrainian crisis. For several weeks, US President Joe Biden has been calling for a significant budget extension to support Ukraine in the new phase of the conflict, where fighting is raging in the east and south of the country. According to the American president, the resources provided by the United States to help Ukraine were about to dry up.