Biden sends $250million of weapons to Ukraine in FINAL aid package until Congress can approve more cash for Kyiv
- The White House has warned that funds for Ukraine will dry up by the end of the year
- Republicans do not want to approve more aid without more security at the US-Mexico border
- Congress went home on vacation without an agreement on funding
President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a $250 million arms package to Ukraine, which officials said could be a final amount of U.S. aid unless Congress approves new funding.
Biden has asked Congress for another $61 billion in aid to Ukraine, but Republicans are refusing to approve the aid without an agreement with Democrats to tighten security along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The White House has warned that without the additional credits, U.S. aid to Kiev will run out by the end of the year.
The package includes air defense ammunition, anti-armor ammunition, ammunition for high-mobility artillery rocket systems and more than 15 million small arms ammunition.
President Joe Biden announced a $250 million arms package to Ukraine
“Over the course of this year, the US has provided 34 military aid packages worth more than $24 billion… We will always be grateful for all this support,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Thursday on X, the platform formerly known stood as Twitter.
Congress has approved more than $110 billion for Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022, but has not approved any funds since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in January 2023.
Earlier this month, Senate Republicans blocked an aid package for Kiev because it did not include changes to border security policy.
Biden has said he is willing to compromise with Republicans, but no deal was reached before Congress left Washington DC for the holidays.
Negotiations are expected to resume in early January. Congress also faces a January 19 deadline to fund the US government.
The president received Zelensky at the White House in early December to emphasize the need for more money.
“Without additional funding, we will quickly reach the end of our ability to help Ukraine respond to the country's urgent operational demands,” Biden said during his meeting with the Ukrainian president.
Zelensky also met with senators to make his case for more funding.
The administration has warned that it has no money elsewhere that it can allocate to Ukraine without congressional approval.
“We are planning another aid package for Ukraine later this month. But once that is done, we will no longer have any additional authority available to us, and we will need Congress to act without delay, as we have said,” White House spokesman John Kirby said last week.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Garron Garn said that — as of Wednesday's aid package — the administration has depleted the funds the Pentagon uses to replenish U.S. stockpiles after weapons donations like those to Ukraine.
“With the replenishment funds falling short of withdrawal authority, we will rigorously assess the implications and ensure decisions are aligned with broader strategic objectives,” Garn said in a statement. “Without the additional funding, there will be a shortfall in replenishing U.S. military supplies, which will impact U.S. military readiness.”
Garn said there is also no more money to place new factory orders for Ukraine.
Biden's request to Congress would give the government an additional $7 billion in authority to make gun donations. It would also provide $18 billion to replenish donated U.S. supplies and $12 billion for long-term arms production contracts for Ukraine — all seen as a lifeline in Kiev's fight against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
His request also includes $14 billion for Israel to fight Hamas and $14 billion for U.S. border security.
Utility workers rest during repair work at a train station after Russian shelling on December 27, 2023 in Kherson, Ukraine
A view of the damage at the scene of a nighttime drone attack on a cottage village near Odesa
The latest aid package comes as the war in Ukraine enters its 22nd month. Russia fired nearly 50 Shahed drones at targets in Ukraine and shelled a train station in the southern city of Kherson, where more than 100 civilians had gathered to catch a train to Kiev.
And a day earlier, Ukrainian warplanes damaged a Russian ship moored in the Black Sea near Crimea, as soldiers on both sides struggled to make much progress along the front lines.
Zelensky remains defiant and promises victory over Russia, but Putin has seized on Ukraine's difficulties, saying at a year-end press conference that Western aid was “little by little coming to an end.”