US mulls USD 40 billion for Ukraine

US lawmakers on Tuesday were set to begin debate on USD 40 billion aid package for Ukraine amid Russian invasion. The US warned that Russia was likely preparing for a long conflict in Ukraine.

It is expected that defense, humanitarian and economic funding will be passed comfortably.
 
“This is a large package but the need is great and time is of the essence… The president has called on both chambers of Congress to act quickly on the Ukrainian aid package, so act quickly we must,” Chuck Schumer, who leads the Senate Democratic majority, said on the floor.

Leaders in US Congress on Monday struck a deal to release $6.8 billion more than the $33 billion previously requested by the White House to help the Eastern European nation ward off Moscow’s invasion.

The financial boost will include extra USD 3.4 billion for military and humanitarian assistance.

If the package passes as planned, US spending to bolster Ukraine’s defenses against Russia’s invasion and address the ensuing humanitarian crisis will soar to around $54 billion. 

Also Read | Putin intends to achieve goals beyond Donbas, may impose martial law: US intelligence chief

The action comes as a top US official warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for a long war that may not end with Russian victory in the east.

“We assess President Putin is preparing for prolonged conflict in Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

She added that Putin was counting on US and EU resolve to weaken as the conflict continues to cause food shortages and inflation, including spiraling energy prices.

(With inputs from agencies)

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