ua en ru

U.S. Congress to consider Ukraine Lend-Lease amendment this week - Ukraine Ambassador

U.S. Congress to consider Ukraine Lend-Lease amendment this week - Ukraine Ambassador Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Oksana Markarova (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

This week, the U.S. Congress will consider amendments to the draft law on the defense budget for 2024, including the extension of Ukraine's Lend-Lease, according to Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.S.

"Our very important tactical task now, which we are working on with our American colleagues, is the adoption of an additional budget for Ukraine for the entire year 2024," Markarova says.

She adds that it is an internal matter for the United States to decide what kind of package it will be.

"We will be grateful for our help and hope that soon - within the next two weeks - both parties will find a compromise and adopt a package that will contain exactly the assistance we are waiting for - military, direct budget, humanitarian, and energy," the Ambassador emphasizes.

According to her, this is currently the number one priority. At the same time, Markarova notes, a lot of work is being done in parallel on specific weapons needed by Ukraine, the expansion of U.S. sanctions, and the confiscation of Russian funds in favor of Ukraine.

"The fifth track is the so-called military budget, the NDA law, which is being considered this week. This is the draft law in which we ask both the House and the Senate to extend the Lend-Lease Act until 2024," Markarova says.

She notes that this is an additional tool, and Ukraine wants to receive armed grant programs.

"But even if we exhaust them earlier, it will be very good to have this tool as an auxiliary tool," the Ambassador explains.

Lend-Lease for Ukraine

The Lend-Lease Act was signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden on May 9, 2022. Among other things, it expands the powers of the US president in agreements on the supply of military assistance to Ukraine. It allows for the loan or leasing of military equipment under simplified export control procedures.

The Lend-Lease allows the White House to provide Ukraine with weapons, equipment, ammunition, and dual-use products under an expedited procedure, i.e., without waiting for a special allocation of funds by the U.S. Congress.

The last time the Lend-Lease program was in effect was during World War II when American military aid was supplied to the enemies of Nazi Germany, primarily the United Kingdom and the USSR.

At the same time, the United States did not provide Ukraine with weapons under the lend-lease program, as there was no need for it. All aid was provided free of charge.

Recently, Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, said that Ukraine is asking Washington to extend the lend-lease until 2024.

According to her, at Ukraine's request, Congress is introducing an amendment to extend the lend-lease, but American lawmakers also understand and clearly express that "the priority now is to extend this budgetary assistance."