WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden on Thursday made a formal request to Congress for an additional $33 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine with U.S. officials saying the aid will last for the next five months.
The administration said Thursday the aid will see the main bulk of $20 billion go towards military aid, which will include weapons and ammunition for Ukraine and its allies in the region. Another $8.5 billion for the government of Ukraine to respond to the country’s humanitarian crisis and counter Russian disinformation.
“Investing in Ukraine’s freedom and security is a small price to pay to punish Russian aggression, to lessen the risk for future conflicts,” Biden said in remarks from the White House. “Throughout our history, we’ve learned that when dictators do not pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and engage in more aggression, they keep moving. The cost and the threat to America and the world keep rising. We can’t let this happen.”
The White House also asked for an additional $3 billion in humanitarian assistance, including funding for refugees.
“The conflict has now entered a different phase, and one that is no less dangerous, as Russia shifts the focus of its assault to Ukraine’s south and east,” said a senior administration official. “As we’ve said, this fight could well last months or more. This conflict will continue to test our unity and our collective resolve to provide Ukraine what it needs.”
Biden also used the remarks to call on Congress to pass an additional $22 billion Covid funding bill. When taking questions from reporters, the President said he did not have a preference for whether Congress passes the bills individually or together.
The President will travel to Alabama next week to visit a plant that manufactures the Javelin anti-tank missile the U.S. has been sending to Ukraine, the White House announced Wednesday.
“This funding is going to help ease rising food prices at home as well as abroad caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine,” Biden said.
The news comes as Russia intensifies its attack in Eastern Ukraine and on the heels of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently taking a trip to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Since the beginning of the war, the United States has provided Ukraine with more than $3 billion in military aid, most recently announcing an $800 million U.S. aid package last week. President Joe Biden said in remarks last week that he has nearly exhausted all funding authorized by Congress for military aid and that he would be submitting a new request this week.
“We’re not attacking Russia, we’re helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression, and just as Putin chose to launch this brutal invasion, he could make the choice to end this brutal invasion,” Biden said. “Russia is the aggressor, no if ands or buts about it, Russia is the aggressor, and the world must and will hold Russia accountable.”