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U.S. Treasury Secretary says Congress would be responsible if Ukraine aid fails

U.S. Treasury Secretary says Congress would be responsible if Ukraine aid fails U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The United States will bear responsibility for Ukraine's defeat if Congress fails to approve the latest multi-billion-dollar request from President Joe Biden's administration for funding, according to Reuters.

Yellen told reporters during a trip to Mexico that funding, especially for supporting Ukraine's state budget, was "utterly essential" and a precondition for continued International Monetary Fund support.

"I've talked to members of Congress, my colleagues have. I think they understand this, that this is a dire situation and we can hold ourselves responsible for Ukraine's defeat if we don't manage to get this funding to Ukraine that's needed, and I'm including direct budget support here because that's utterly essential," Yellen said.

Yellen added that American funding for Ukraine is also important for U.S. allies in Europe, who provide generous assistance to help Ukraine prevail in its struggle against Russian aggression.

"Ukraine is just running out of money," Yellen said. "They’re spending more than every penny they're taking in, in tax revenue, on military salaries and defense, and they wouldn’t have any schools or hospital or first responders if not for the money we’re sending to them to support them."

U.S. aid to Ukraine is accompanied by "very strong controls to guard against any misuse of the funds, any corruption," Yellen said, adding that support for the state budget is channeled through the World Bank, which has strong anti-corruption guarantees to prevent corruption and ensure that money is used as intended.

Ukraine aid

President Joe Biden has requested $106 billion from Congress for aid to Israel and Ukraine, as well as for strengthening the defense-industrial complex. Of this amount, $61.3 billion was proposed to be allocated to Ukraine and $14.3 billion to Israel. This package is currently under consideration in Congress.

On December 5, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy withdrew his appeal to the Senate as Congress is in dispute over the demands of Republicans to tie aid to a review of U.S. immigration and border policies.

It is worth noting that about half of Ukraine's budget for 2024 is allocated to defense, funded through international aid, while all taxes collected go to other purposes.