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6 Sep, 2023 18:05

Top Republican warns US not to ‘go wobbly’ on Ukraine

Helping Kiev means weakening “strategic adversary” Russia, Senator Mitch McConnell has said
Top Republican warns US not to ‘go wobbly’ on Ukraine

The US Congress should approve an additional $20 billion in funding for Ukraine, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday. The Republican senator from Kentucky argued that the aid provided by Washington to Kiev has been weakening Moscow “without firing a shot.”

In a speech on the Senate floor, McConnell claimed that President Joe Biden “has not been as decisive as many of us have preferred” when it comes to funding Ukraine’s war effort, but that this was not a reason for Congress to “compound the administration’s failures with failures of our own.”

“Helping Ukraine retake its territory means weakening one of America’s biggest strategic adversaries without firing a shot,” the senator argued. 

With Kiev “eroding Russia’s capacity to threaten NATO,” McConnell claimed, “it is not the time to ease up,” and with NATO unified and European countries starting to spend money on their militaries, “it is certainly not the time to go wobbly.”

That particular line was made famous in 1990 by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who used it to urge US President George H.W. Bush to launch a war against Iraq over Kuwait.

McConnell also suggested that Congress would pass the supplemental government funding bill before the end of the month, which is intended to avoid a government shutdown before the new fiscal year starts in October.

The proposed spending bill has bundled $20.1 billion for Ukraine with disaster relief for fire-stricken Hawaii, despite objections from some Republicans who wanted to vote on the packages separately. 

The US Congress has approved over $130 billion in funds for Ukraine since February 2022. America’s aid to Kiev has included weapons, equipment and ammunition, as well as cash remittances to pay the salaries of government officials. 

When some Republicans tried to curtail the spending spree last December, McConnell insisted that aiding Ukraine was the “number one priority of the US,” and helped the Democrats to pass the 4,155-page omnibus spending bill.

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