Joe Biden asks for $33bn aid package ‘to counter Putin’s aggression’ in Ukraine

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Joe Biden has called for Congress to approve a bumper new aid package (Getty Images)
Joe Biden has called for Congress to approve a bumper new aid package (Getty Images)

Joe Biden has asked the US Congress to approve a substantial $33billion (£26.5billion) aid package for Ukraine.

In order for the state to continue its fight against Russian troops, Mr Biden announced a request for further assistance to “counter Putin”.

The White House claims the support package will be vital for Ukraine’s defence of its sovereignty over the next five months.

He said: “I just signed a request to Congress for critical security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to help Ukraine continue to counter Putin’s aggression at a pivotal moment.

“We need this bill to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom.”

The latest support package dwarfs the initial $13.6billion (£10.9billion) in defence and economic which was agreed last month.

"The cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is going to be more costly," Biden said.

"It’s critical this funding gets approved and as quickly as possible."

The aid package will include $20billion (£16billion) in military assistance for Kyiv and for shoring up defences in nearby countries as the package “begins the transition to longer-term security assistance" for Ukraine.

There is also $8.5billion (£6.8billion) in economic aid to help keep Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government functioning and $3billion (£2.4billion) for food and humanitarian programmes to help civilians.

This comes as Russia announced it would cut off gas exports to Bulgaria and Poland as fighting progresses through its ninth week.

Mr Biden said, however, the US would not allow allies to be blackmailed.

He added: “We will not let Russia intimidate or blackmail their way out of the sanctions."

Earlier this week, the UK announced new trade measures to aid Ukraine.

The Government has now eliminated tariffs on all goods entering from the undersiege country and has introduced exports bans on certain goods which Russia may use in its invasion.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told MPs this week that Britain has already supplied more than 5,000 anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.

He also said Britain had sent five air defence systems, with more than 100 missiles, 1,360 anti-structural munitions, 4.5 tonnes of plastic explosives, as well as the Starstreak high velocity and low velocity anti-air missiles.

The UK had also pledged to send 120 armoured vehicles, sourced anti-ship missiles, and high tech loitering munitions for precision strikes.

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