US President Joe Biden announced Thursday he has signed a $33 billion request for supplemental funding for Ukraine from Congress as Russia’s invasion takes on a new, critical phase.
The funding request is expected to support Ukraine through this fiscal year, or about five months, and includes $20.4 billion in military assistance.
Biden framed the massive request as critical for global stability.
He called on Congress to approve the funding “as quickly as possible.”
He reiterated that he would not send US troops to Ukraine and said that the US is “not attacking Russia,” but is instead, “helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression,” casting blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Russia is the aggressor, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Russia is the aggressor, and the world must and will hold Russia accountable,” he said.
Biden ticked through some of the provisions in the $33 billion request, including:
- $20.4 billion requested for military and security assistance
- $8.5 billion in economic assistance for the Ukrainian government and people
- $3 billion will be allocated for additional humanitarian assistance and food security funding, and targeted funding to address economic disruptions
He also detailed new proposed legislation to hold Russian oligarchs to account.
While members have agreed that more money for Ukraine is necessary, it’s still not clear how the supplemental would move swiftly through Congress nor is it clear how quickly this proposal on oligarchs could move. A likely path would be to tie the two pieces of legislation together, but Republican and Democratic leaders are in the early stages of talks on how to pass the broader funding for Ukraine.
The President also reacted to news earlier this week that Russia halted gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after both countries refused to pay in rubles, injecting more uncertainty into the already-unstable global oil markets rocked by the war.
“Let me be clear, we will not let Russia intimidate or blackmail their way out of these sanctions. We will not allow them to use their oil and gas to avoid consequences. We are working with other nations like Korea, Japan, Qatar and others to support our effort to help European allies threatened by Russia with gas blackmail, and their energy needs in other ways,” he said.
Read more about the proposal here.