US President Pledges Speedy Weapons Delivery to Ukraine

Wed Apr 24 2024
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WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden pledged to send fresh weapons to Ukraine within days as he prepared to approve on Wednesday an assistance package including 61 billion dollars meant to help Kyiv’s troops push back against Russia.

Congress approved on Tuesday the long-delayed bill, which also contained a measure to ban TikTok in the US if the popular social media app does not cut ties with its Chinese parent company, AFP reported.

Days after the Republican-led House of Representatives cleared the assistance — part of a larger 95 billion dollars package of aid to allies including Israel and Taiwan — the Democratic-controlled Senate followed suit, approving it with bipartisan support on a 79-18 vote.

Passage of the legislation, which also provides much-needed humanitarian aid to Gaza, Haiti, and Sudan comes after months of acrimonious debate among Congress members over how or even whether to help Ukraine defend itself.

A similar assistance package passed the Senate in February but had been stalled in the House while Republican Speaker Mike Johnson — heeding demands from former president Donald Trump and his hardline allies – called for concessions from Biden on immigration policies, before a sudden reversal.

Ukraine’s President Thanks US Lawmakers

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who visited the United States in December to plead for fresh assistance, quickly thanked US lawmakers for passing the bill, saying on social media that he looked forward to the legislation being inked soon and the next military assistance package matching the resoluteness that he always sees in the negotiations.

Zelensky added that Ukraine’s long-range capabilities, air defense, and artillery are critical tools for restoring just peace sooner.

Biden said the bill’s approval showed that Washington stood firmly for democracy and freedom, and against tyranny and oppression, while the Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, said it sent a message that the US will not turn our back on you.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Washington’s aid would make little difference on the front line.

Peskov told reporters that all the new batches of weapons were already surely ready and would not change the dynamics on the front.


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