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12 Oct, 2023 00:40

Support not ‘indefinite,’ White House tells Ukraine

When it comes to funding Kiev, the US says it is “at the end of the rope”
Support not ‘indefinite,’ White House tells Ukraine

The US is running out of money for Ukraine unless Congress approves additional funding, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday.

“In the near term, we’ve got appropriations and authorities for both Ukraine and for Israel,” Kirby said during the daily press briefing. “But you don’t want to be trying to bake in long-term support when you’re at the end of the rope.”

“And in Ukraine, on the Ukraine funding, we’re coming near to the end of the rope,” he added. “Today we announced $200 million, and we’ll keep that aid going as long as we can, but it’s not going to be indefinite.”

Asked to define “near term,” Kirby said he could not point to a specific date, because that depends on how quickly Ukraine and Israel expend their equipment and ammunition “or what the need is and what our ability to do it is.”

On Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesperson assured reporters that the US has the ability to “continue our support both to Ukraine, Israel, and maintain our own global readiness.”

Kirby, however, admitted that the money previously appropriated for Ukraine by Congress is “not going to last forever” and that lawmakers need to approve more and soon.

“The sooner there’s a speaker of the House, obviously, the more comfortable we’ll all be in terms of being able to support Israel and Ukraine,” he said.

The House of Representatives has not had a speaker since last Tuesday, when Kevin McCarthy became the first-ever speaker to be ousted in a House vote, over an alleged secret deal with the White House to approve more Ukraine funding. Several Republicans led the charge against their California colleague, backed by all of the minority Democrats. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the Republican nominee to succeed McCarthy, has been supportive of funding Ukraine in the past.

Since February 2022, when the conflict with Russia escalated, the US has channeled almost $44 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine, as well as billions more in cash, humanitarian, and economic assistance.