Sun, 19 May 2024
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US Senate approves long-awaited military aid for Ukraine

Update : 24 Apr 2024, 09:36

The US Senate has passed $95 billion (€ 88.7 billion) in military aid to its allies, which includes the long-awaited $61 billion package for Ukraine, meant to help Kyiv defend itself against Russia. 

The bill passed with an overwhelming 79-18 vote late Tuesday.

What did Biden say?

US President President Joe Biden said after the vote that he would sign the bill into law on Wednesday, adding that the delivery of weapons and equipment can begin "this week."

"Tonight, a bipartisan majority in the Senate joined the House to answer history's call at this critical inflection point," Biden said in a statement.

"I will sign this bill into law and address the American people as soon as it reaches my desk tomorrow so we can begin sending weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week," he said.

While the bill was expected to sail through the Senate, it faced months of delays and contentious debate at the House of Representatives.

Biden's administration is already preparing a $1 billion (€930 million) military aid package for Ukraine, the first from the bill, according to a report by Reuters news agency citing two unnamed US officials.

This includes vehicles, Stinger air defense munitions, additional ammunition for high-mobility artillery rocket systems, 155 millimeter artillery ammunition, TOW and Javelin anti-tank munitions and other weapons that can immediately be put to use on the battlefield, according to the report. 

Aid package a seismic shift in Ukraine war, expert tells DW. How did Ukraine respond?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday thanked the US Senate. "I thank Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for their strong leadership in advancing this bipartisan legislation, as well as all US Senators on both sides of the aisle who voted in favor of it," he posted on social media minutes after the bill passed.  

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