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Ukraine conflict: Biden seeks USD13.1 billion in more Ukraine defence aid

The US Congress will consider President Joe Biden's request for more Ukraine aid. (Janes/Marc Selinger)

The administration of US President Joe Biden asked Congress on 10 August to approve an additional USD13.1 billion in Ukraine-related military assistance, saying earlier funding allocations for the war-torn country have been “committed or nearly committed”.

Biden “has reaffirmed that we will stand with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty for as long as it takes, a strategy that has successfully united our allies and partners and equipped Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression”, Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a letter to congressional leaders.

The new supplemental appropriations request would provide USD9.5 billion to equip Ukraine's armed forces and replenish US stocks of equipment sent to Ukraine. It also contains USD3.6 billion for “continued military, intelligence, and other defence support”. If economic and humanitarian assistance is included, the Ukraine package totals more than USD24 billion.

The previous Ukraine supplemental, which Biden signed into law in December 2022, provided USD45 billion, including USD9 billion to train and equip Ukrainian forces and USD11.9 billion to replenish stocks of US equipment sent to Ukraine.

While Senator Jack Reed, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued a statement welcoming the new request from his fellow Democrat, opposition to Ukraine aid has been growing among Republicans who say the money should be spent on domestic priorities instead. However, Doug Bush, the US Army's assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics, and technology, expressed optimism that the request will become law.

“We'll have a very strong case to hopefully garner congressional support for continued funding, in particular for munitions production increases and munitions buys to support Ukraine,” he told reporters on 7 August.

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