Biden asks Congress for additional $33 billion in Ukraine aid

Biden asks Congress for additional $33 billion in Ukraine aid

The US President wants to give additional funds for Ukraine, as well as powers to seize and sell assets of wealthy Russians.

US President Joe Biden asked Congress for an additional $33 billion in funding to prop up Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia. A large part of the massive package is going to be used for additional military and security aid, while the rest will be used for economic and humanitarian assistance.

The White House said in a statement that the Administration is asking for $20.4 billion in additional security and military assistance for Ukraine and the U.S. efforts to strengthen European security in cooperation with our NATO allies and other partners in the region.

Biden said that it was critical for the lawmakers to adopt it, after he unveiled the package at the White House. He said the bill needed to support Ukraine and its fight for freedom, and he admitted that the price was not cheap. He stressed that if we allow it to happen, caving to aggression is going to be more costly.

The aid package has to be designated as emergency spending, so it doesn't have to be offset by spending cuts elsewhere, according to the US administration. Biden is looking for new powers to target wealthy Russians that the US administration believes to be oligarchs, in addition to the massive aid package for Ukraine. I am sending a comprehensive package to Congress that will strengthen our efforts to accommodate the Russian oligarchs and make sure we take their ill-be gotten gains. Biden said that they were going to accommodate them, they are going to seize their yachts, their luxury homes, their ill-begotten gains, and they are trying to describe the wealthy Russians as a result of the world kleptocracy. These are bad guys, he said.

If enabled, the proposed powers would allow the US authorities to streamline the process for seizure of oligarch assets, sell them, and funnel the proceeds to Ukraine.

Since the ongoing conflict broke out late in February, the US alone has given more than $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine. Washington's allies poured in lavish military and economic aid to Kiev, with certain Western officials including British PM Boris Johnson and top EU diplomat Josep Borrell publicly stating they wanted Ukraine to beat Russia on the battlefield.

Moscow warned the West not to increase aid for Kiev, stating that this would only prolong the ongoing conflict and cause further damage to Ukraine, as well as the suffering of the country's people.

In late February, Russia attacked the neighboring state after Ukraine didn't implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied it plans to retake the two republics by force.