U.S. aid to Ukraine hangs in balance as Biden and allies discuss continued support

President Joe Biden walks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of a working session on Ukraine during the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Sunday, May 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, POOL)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

U.S. President Joe Biden called key Western allies on Tuesday to reassure them of continued U.S. military support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia after congressional Republicans over the weekend forced the exclusion of immediate new funding for Kyiv.

To address concerns, Biden convened a virtual meeting with NATO allies, as the implications of a break in the funding for Ukraine could be dire. After participating in the video conference, Polish President Andrzej Duda relayed that the U.S. will continue to provide financial aid to Kyiv.

Last Saturday, Biden signed a funding bill for the U.S. government, introduced by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Notably absent from this budget was the previously approved aid for Ukraine. This means that until Nov. 17, Kyiv will not receive the next installment of military aid from the U.S., a decision that sent shockwaves throughout NATO and Ukraine.

However, since Saturday, Biden has reiterated that funds for Ukraine will be secured. The resolution largely hinges on political maneuverings within the U.S. Congress. In an effort to reassure allies, Biden called a special meeting with G7 country leaders, including those from Poland and Romania, as well as NATO and EU chiefs.

Following the meeting, Poland’s Duda stated that “there are many congressmen, from both houses, who support continued aid for Ukraine.”

Duda also mentioned that the leaders discussed plans for Ukraine’s reconstruction post-conflict. “Everyone spoke about the need to prepare for Ukraine’s post-war rebuilding,” said Duda, emphasizing that all allies stand united in their commitment to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

Billions in aid for Ukraine are currently suspended. After the onset of the Russian invasion, the U.S. Congress approved $113 billion in economic, humanitarian, and military aid for Kyiv. The Defense Department still has $1.6 billion earmarked solely for arms sent to Ukraine. A presidential fund holds another $5.4 billion for Kyiv’s military needs, while the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) is now depleted.

Anti-Ukrainian sentiments in Congress have become more pronounced, with opposition to funding Ukrainian aid doubling in the House of Representatives since February 2022. This reflects growing war-weariness among the U.S. public. Recent U.S. polls show waning support for financing Ukraine’s military operations.

The majority of financial aid to Ukraine comes from EU countries, with U.S. financial assistance being three times less than EU contributions. U.S. support is on par with combined transfers from the UK, Japan, Canada, and Norway. However, the U.S. provides most of Ukraine’s crucial military aid.

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