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Ukraine conflict: Biden seeks more Ukraine aid

Javelin anti-armour systems are among the weapon systems the United States has provided to Ukraine. (US Army)

The Biden administration asked Congress on 2 September to approve USD11.7 billion in additional Ukraine-related security and economic assistance, including USD4.5 billion to provide military equipment to Ukraine and replenish Pentagon stocks.

The request also includes USD2.7 billion for “continued military, intelligence, and other defence support”, and USD4.5 billion to help Ukraine's government continue operating.

The funding would back the war-torn country during the first quarter of US fiscal year (FY) 2023, which begins on 1 October. Although Congress approved USD40 billion in aid for Ukraine in May 2022, that money was intended to last till September, and it is running out as anticipated, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

“To date, roughly three-quarters of the direct military and budgetary support that Congress previously provided for Ukraine has been disbursed or committed, with even more expected by the end of the fiscal year,” OMB Director Shalanda Young wrote in a blog post. “We have rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and we cannot allow that support to Ukraine to run dry.”

With Congress unlikely to finish its full-year FY 2023 appropriations bills before the fiscal year begins, lawmakers will have to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a US government shutdown. Young urged Congress to include the Ukraine aid in the CR.

Congress is expected to consider Biden's request when it returns to Washington, DC, from its August recess on 6 September. Ukraine's armed resistance to Russia's invasion continues to enjoy strong bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.

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