U.S. support for Ukraine faces potential halt as year-end approaches, White House warns

 01. 12. 2023      Category: Defense & Security

The White House has issued a warning that American support for Ukraine could face significant challenges as the year draws to a close, unless Congress releases additional funding. This statement was made by White House spokesperson John Kirby during a briefing last Thursday, emphasizing the urgency for lawmakers to make a swift decision.

"The runway is getting shorter," Kirby stated, highlighting the time-sensitive nature of the situation. "We believe we have time roughly until the end of the year before it becomes very difficult to continue supporting Ukraine. And the end of the year is coming soon," he added during the press conference on national security matters.

Picture: Painted grafity requesting help for Ukraine | Shutterstock

The United States has been the most significant supplier of military aid to Ukraine, which has been defending itself against Russian aggression for over 21 months. Since February last year, the U.S. has sent equipment worth over $40 billion to Ukraine. However, the last allocation of funds by Congress for this purpose was at the end of the previous year. Last month, President Joe Biden requested an additional $61 billion for military and economic assistance.

"The money is needed," Kirby emphasized. It remains unclear how much funding the U.S. government currently has left for supporting Ukraine. The packages of military aid sent to Ukraine have been gradually decreasing, a situation the White House recently attributed to delays in Congress. The government initially requested new funds in September.

A faction of lawmakers from the Republican Party, which holds a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, opposes further support for Kyiv. The Senate, where Democrats have a slim majority, could vote on new funds for Ukraine next week, along with a special package for Israel, which President Biden also included in his October request.

However, Republicans in both chambers have recently conditioned the approval of Ukrainian support on tightening asylum and immigration processes, a long-standing priority for them. Negotiations with Democratic Party representatives are ongoing for a possible compromise. However, reaching an agreement is far from certain, as immigration policy has been a contentious issue between the two main political parties for years.

This situation places the future of U.S. assistance to Ukraine in a precarious position, as the end of the year approaches and the need for a resolution becomes increasingly urgent. The outcome of these negotiations and decisions in Congress will significantly impact not only the U.S.-Ukraine relationship but also the broader geopolitical dynamics involving the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe.

 Author: Michal Fencl