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20 Dec, 2023 00:36

No ‘magic pot’ of money for Ukraine – US State Dept

Kiev is facing a “very difficult winter,” according to Washington
No ‘magic pot’ of money for Ukraine – US State Dept

The US administration “absolutely” stands with Ukraine but has exhausted nearly all available funding streams to provide additional military  assistance, with just a single drawdown package remaining this year, according to the US State Department.

At a press briefing on Tuesday, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller was asked to reassure Ukrainians after President Vladimir Zelensky claimed earlier in the day that he was “confident the US will not betray us.”

“I think that question is one for the US Congress,” Miller replied. “Congress is gonna have to decide whether they are gonna stand with Ukraine and supply the funding that they need to push back on Russia's invasion, as we enter what we expect to be a very difficult winter, or if they are not going to.”

Miller said there still are some funding streams that the US administration can draw on to send more military aid to Kiev, but acknowledged that “we have used those funding streams, we have nearly exhausted them, and over the next few weeks we will fully exhaust them.”

There is no magic pot of funding that we have available to draw on if Congress does not pass this bill.

The White House has persisted in attempting to get congressional approval for President Joe Biden’s latest request for Ukraine funding. The president has insisted that lawmakers pass an additional $61 billion in funding for Kiev as part of an emergency spending bill that also includes aid for Israel, which politicians from both major parties widely support. Republican lawmakers have held up the combined proposal after previously approving $113 billion in outlays for Ukraine, citing concern that Biden is merely prolonging the conflict with Russia and lacks a clear victory strategy. 

Moscow has repeatedly warned that military aid to Ukraine by the US and its allies will only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. Russian officials have also argued that the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing, and training of Ukrainian troops means that Western nations have already become de facto parties to the conflict.