US

Pentagon ‘Exhausted Almost All Available Security Aid for Ukraine’

The Pentagon is seen from the air in Washington, DC, on March 2, 2022InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovUS President Joe Biden signed a short-term funding bill on Saturday to keep federal agencies open through November 17 after the last-minute document – which specifically excludes any new funds for Kiev – was agreed by the House and Senate. The US Department of Defense (DoD) “has exhausted nearly all available security assistance funding for Ukraine,” an unnamed top Pentagon official has been cited by an American broadcaster as saying.The remarks came after Congress blocked any new funds for Ukraine on Saturday as US lawmakers clinched a last-ditch spending deal in a bid to prevent a government shutdown.

While the Biden administration called for an additional $20.6 billion in finds for Kiev, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy decided to exclude all such assistance from the government spending bill to tackle the shutdown as soon as possible, in a move that one US newspaper argued would “send immediate shockwaves through European capitals and the government in Kiev.”

About three hours before a midnight deadline, the Senate approved the stopgap measure after the House passed the bill earlier that day. The bill was then hastily signed into law by President Joe Biden late Saturday night, with the POTUS saying in a statement that “bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate voted to keep the government open, preventing an unnecessary crisis that would have inflicted needless pain on millions of hardworking Americans.””This bill ensures that active-duty troops will continue to get paid, travelers will be spared airport delays, millions of women and children will continue to have access to vital nutrition assistance, and so much more. This is good news for the American people,” he added.

This followed Under Secretary of Defense Michael McCord warning in a letter to congressional leaders that “Without additional funding now, we would have to delay or curtail assistance to meet Ukraine’s urgent requirements, including for air defense and ammunition that are critical and urgent now as Russia prepares to conduct a winter offensive.”

Republicans and Democrats have repeatedly locked horns over US assistance to Ukraine, which has increased to a whopping $75 billion since the beginning of the Russian special military operation. Moscow earlier warned that such funding would add to further prolongation of the Ukraine conflict and make the US directly involved in the standoff.

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