Biden signs bill including $12.4 billion for Ukraine: White House
More US military aid pours into Ukraine further enflaming the situation.
The White House confirmed Saturday that US President Joe Biden signed a bill on approving appropriations through December 16, 2022, including an additional $12.4 billion to support Ukraine.
The US Senate approved Thursday the $12.4 billion in fresh economic and military aid for Ukraine as part of Washington's stopgap extension of the US federal budget into December.
The bill, met with bipartisan support, includes $3 billion for arms, supplies, and salaries for the Ukrainian military, while authorizing US President Joe Biden to direct the Department of Defense to provide Ukraine with $3.7 billion of its own weapons and materiel using his Presidential Drawdown Authority.
The act further provides $4.5 billion for Kiev to stabilize the country's finances and keep Kiev's government afloat.
"Seven months since the conflict began, it's crystal clear that American assistance has gone a long way to helping the Ukrainian people resist Putin's evil, vicious aggression," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
"But the fight is far from over, and we must, we must continue helping the brave, valiant Ukrainian people," he added.
Since the start of the war, the US has given Ukraine $16.9 billion for "security assistance", which includes a package worth $600 million in early September.
Additionally, the White House asked Congress for $13.7 billion for "security and economic assistance" for Ukraine to keep the Ukrainian government standing.
The United States also approved Thursday an extra $1.1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, providing 18 new High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
HIMARS is capable of launching Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles with a range of up to 50 miles, as well as a single Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile with a range of 186 miles. The US has been continuously supplying Ukraine with GMLRSs, while Kiev continues to make demands for ATACMS delivery.
The US is also sending hundreds of armored and tactical vehicles, radar systems, anti-UAV systems, and surveillance and communications systems, the Pentagon said in a statement on Wednesday.
US might send Abrams, Leopard tanks to Ukraine: WH
In the same context, it is noteworthy that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Friday did not rule out that NATO-standard tanks, including Abrams and Leopard tanks, will be supplied to Ukraine in light of its ongoing war.
"I'm not ruling anything out. I will say, I don't have any announcement on US tanks today, and in terms of German tanks, I will refer you to the Germans who are in their own consultations with Ukrainians," Sullivan told reporters during a press briefing.
Sullivan stated that given the ongoing war, Ukraine's NATO membership should be addressed at a later date.
"Our view is that the best way for us to support Ukraine is through practical on-the-ground support in Ukraine and that the [NATO accession] process in Brussels should be taken up at a different time," Sullivan stated.
In light of concerns about nuclear rhetoric and Ukraine's request to join NATO, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated on Friday that the United States maintains a high state of preparedness in Europe to respond to any military situation.
"We’re continuing down the road of negotiating, alongside our G7 [Group of Seven] partners and working with countries who are prospective purchasers of Russian oil, what the parameters in terms of a price cap would look like," Sullivan said regarding the parameters of a future price cap on Russian oil.