Biden: US Not Attacking Russia But Defending Ukraine, Will Send Military Aid Until End of Operation
WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) - US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that the United States will continue to provide military aid to Ukraine until Russia's special military operation in that country stops.
"As long as the assaults and atrocities continue, we're going to continue to supply military assistance," Biden said.
The president also stressed that the US was not attacking Russia, despite continuing to supply Ukraine with weapons to "defend itself". He also dismissed concerns that Moscow might consider these supplies as US intervention in the conflict, which it threatened to "rapidly respond to".
"Despite the disturbing rhetoric coming out of Kremlin [...] we're not attacking Russia. We're helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression", Biden said.
POTUS said he requested $33 billion in emergency supplemental funding from the US Congress to support Ukraine amid the ongoing special Russian military operation.
The funding package would cover the next five months of the conflict in Ukraine, and includes over $20 billion in military and security assistance, $8.5 billion in economic assistance, $3 billion in humanitarian and food assistance, and $500 million in US food production assistance, according to the White House reports.
"I just signed a request to Congress for critical security, economic and humanitarian assistance to help Ukraine continue to counter Putin's aggression, and at a very pivotal moment", Biden said.
Biden will also send proposals to Congress on Thursday to establish new authorities for the forfeiture of Russian property in the US and use the proceeds to support Ukraine, the White House announced on Thursday.
"This package of proposals will establish new authorities for the forfeiture of property linked to Russian kleptocracy, allow the government to use the proceeds to support Ukraine, and further strengthen related law enforcement tools," the statement said.
It would also create a new criminal offense, making it unlawful for any person to "knowingly or intentionally possess proceeds directly obtained from corrupt dealings with the Russian government," the White House added.
Western Involvement in the Ukraine Conflict
The Kremlin has repeatedly cautioned western countries against supplying weapons to Ukraine, warning that they might turn up on the black market across Europe â€” and that the shipments only prolong the Russian special military operation launched on February 24.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who ordered the operation following the request for assistance from Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), promised that Moscow would deliver a swift response if "anyone" intervenes in the Ukraine conflict and poses a strategic threat to Moscow.
"We have all the tools for this. The kind that no one else can boast of right now. And we won't brag. We will just use them if needed", he said.
Putin accused the West of pushing Ukraine towards confrontation with Russia with no regard to the lives of its citizens. He stated that these countries used nationalist forces to turn Ukraine into an "anti-Russia".
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