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Iran Press TV

Biden admin. calls for billions of dollars to aid Ukraine

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 26 February 2022 5:14 PM

US President Joe Biden's administration has asked Congressional lawmakers to allocate $6.4 billion American taxpayers' money for Ukraine's government to help it fight Russia's military operation there.

"In a recent conversation with lawmakers, the administration identified the need for additional US humanitarian, security, and economic assistance to Ukraine and Central European partners," an official from the White House Office of Management and Budget was quoted by Reuters as saying, adding, congressional aides said the Biden administration had made the request on Friday at a briefing for staff from congressional leadership offices and relevant committees.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, who oversees spending, said he would work closely with the administration to address the issue.

"The United States government needs to provide the necessary resources to support our allies," he said.

The new funds would be added to the $650 million in security assistance and $52 million in humanitarian assistance the US has already committed to Ukraine over the past year, as well as the $1 billion sovereign loan guarantee announced last week.

Democratic Senator Chris Coons, who chairs the Senate subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, said earlier on Friday he would support $10 billion or more to address the Ukraine crisis.

Both Biden's fellow Democrats and opposition Republicans have expressed strong support for the increase in funds and lethal weapons for Ukraine, with some calling for passage of an emergency spending bill as soon as next week.

Meanwhile, Pentagon is looking for ways to send more deadly weapons into Ukraine to help Ukrainian forces counter Russia's military action.

"We're continuing to look for ways to support Ukraine to defend themselves," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Friday. "And we're very actively engaged in those efforts to help them better defend themselves through both lethal and nonlethal assistance."

Kirby said the delivery of arms to Ukraine had become more difficult after Thursday, when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a "special military operation" in the former Soviet state.

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