US Senate to vote on Ukraine aid package after House's months-long delay

The US Senate is set to vote Tuesday on a major aid package for Ukraine, with its passage all but certain after the House of Representatives -- following months of wrangling -- approved the assistance with broad bipartisan support.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, whose party narrowly controls the chamber, said Saturday "the finish line is now in sight" for the assistance package, and that an agreement had been "locked in" for a vote on Tuesday.

"The task before us is urgent. It is once again the Senate's turn to make history," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said.

The final package -- which outlines a whopping $95 billion in total military assistance to US allies, including money for Israel and Taiwan alongside the $61 billion earmarked for Ukraine -- is expected to land on President Joe Biden's desk for his approval by the end of the week.

The Senate vote should go more smoothly, without having to deal with the complicated negotiations and disagreements that plagued the Republican-controlled House.

Biden promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call Monday that Kyiv could expect the assistance to arrive "quickly," as they struggle forward in their over-two-year battle against Russia's invasion.

The Ukrainian military is facing a severe shortage of weapons and new recruits as Moscow exerts constant pressure from the east.

And circumstances are expected to worsen on the frontlines in the coming weeks, with Ukrainian intelligence head Kyrylo Budanov predicting a "rather difficult situation" beginning mid-May.

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