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19 Oct, 2023 10:24

Biden wants $60 billion for Kiev – media

The US president will reportedly request $100 billion from Congress on Friday for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and the border 
Biden wants $60 billion for Kiev – media

The White House is expected to send an appropriation request for security spending worth $100 billion to the US Congress on Friday morning, multiple news outlets report. The bulk of the package, $60 billion, would go to Ukraine.

The administration of US President Joe Biden reportedly seeks to overcome Republican resistance against continued funding for Kiev by bundling the assistance with support for Israel and Taiwan and the policing of the southern US border, issues which enjoy overwhelming support among GOP lawmakers.

According to reports on Wednesday, Israel will receive $10 billion of the proposed package, matching the amount that it reportedly requested to support its war effort against Palestinian militant group Hamas. The remaining $30 billion would go to Taiwan and security in the wider Indo-Pacific, and for the southern border. The spending is meant for a period throughout the 2024 financial year, which ends next September.

Republican lawmakers have been increasingly skeptical about long-term support for Kiev as the conflict with Moscow drags on. Ukraine’s foreign donors placed a great deal of hope in Kiev’s ‘summer counteroffensive’, for which they provided advanced Western-made tanks and other weaponry. Ukrainian forces have failed to make much progress against Russia’s defensive lines.

Ukraine aid became a point of contention for the US House of Representatives last month, as it debated a stopgap spending bill to prevent a government shutdown. The final version did not allocate any money for Kiev.

Kevin McCarthy lost the speaker’s position after ‘Ukraine skeptics’ accused him of striking a secret deal with the Biden administration to keep the money flowing, and voted with the Democrats to oust him. Legislative activity in the chamber has been at a standstill for more than two weeks, as the Republicans struggle to elect a new speaker.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has expressed concern that the escalation of violence in the Middle East could distract global attention from his nation. He has accused Russia of being behind Hamas’ attack on Israel, without offering any evidence.

Zelensky was reportedly denied a request to visit Israel alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week. Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmitry Kuleba, told Italian daily La Repubblica that the proposed visit was postponed rather than rejected.