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9 Feb, 2024 04:40

Poland slams US Republicans for delaying Ukraine aid

American lawmakers have spent months wrangling over additional cash for Kiev
Poland slams US Republicans for delaying Ukraine aid

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has criticized US Republicans as senators attempted to block a new $95 billion aid package for Ukraine and Israel, even invoking the memory of former President Ronald Reagan.

Speaking after the massive aid bill was temporarily held up in the Senate earlier this week, Tusk took to social media to blast Republicans, recalling that past presidents from the party had supported foreign military assistance to US allies.

“Dear Republican Senators of America. Ronald Reagan, who helped millions of us to win back our freedom and independence, must be turning in his grave today. Shame on you,” Tusk wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Though the aid package ultimately garnered the votes needed to advance through the upper chamber without the risk of a filibuster, the legislation still faces potentially lengthy negotiations over its amendments.

In its current form, the bill includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion to fund Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, and nearly $5 billion to help “deter” China in the Indo-Pacific. An earlier version included more than $20 billion in funding to help secure the nation’s southern border – a provision Republicans had previously insisted on, but recently abandoned after months of stalled negotiations.

Thanks to that impasse, Washington has largely halted all weapons transfers to Kiev in recent weeks, following well over $100 billion in previous military, financial, and humanitarian assistance approved by the White House. President Joe Biden has blasted Republicans over the delay, claiming the party is too beholden to his GOP predecessor, Donald Trump, who has repeatedly voiced support for stronger border protections.

Poland has been among Ukraine’s most vocal backers throughout the conflict with Russia, authorizing its own arms shipments while urging other Western allies to provide advanced weapons, including fighter jets. Tusk – who recently took the prime minister spot again after serving in the role from 2007 to 2014 – has vowed to increase pressure on Warsaw’s partners to boost aid, saying, “We will demand full mobilization of the West to help Ukraine.”