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War in Ukraine enters 3rd year with US military aid at risk

Top officials from President Joe Biden's administration spent last weekend in Europe trying to calm jitters over the prospect of an end to U.S. military aid to Ukraine, assuring allies as the war enters its third year that that Washington will somehow maintain its support.

Just two days later, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Republican Mike Johnson, who has so far blocked the passage of a bill that includes $60 billion in new resources for Ukraine, published a photo of himself smiling with former President Donald Trump, who opposes aid to Kiev.

The contrast underscored the challenges the Biden administration will face if Congress does not approve more military assistance, which Ukraine desperately needs to contain the Russian invaders.

So far, the Biden government has ruled out the possibility of discussing a plan B.

Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination and a longtime critic of NATO, has threatened in recent weeks to abandon some European allies if they are attacked by Russia.

While Vice President Kamala Harris and other administration officials were projecting confidence last week at a meeting on Western security in Munich, Kiev was losing territory to Russia. Moscow on Sunday took control of the town of Avdiivka, its biggest gain in the past nine months.

“This happened in large part because Ukraine is running out of weapons due to congressional inaction,” Biden national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday, warning of worse to come if lawmakers don’t act. .

Last week, the Senate approved a $95 billion bill providing assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan by an overwhelming 70-30 vote, with 22 Republicans joining a majority of Democrats to vote in favor of the proposal. But Johnson sent the House into a two-week recess without bringing the measure to a vote.

Since then, Senate Republicans and Democrats have joined those calling for approval of the aid.

If approved, the funding would bring total US investment in the conflict to $170 billion, although Congress has not approved any major aid for Ukraine since Republicans took control of the House in January 2023.

Nearly two-thirds of the $60 billion would go to U.S. companies that make military equipment for Ukraine, much of it to replace material already sent.

The House is unlikely to consider the bill before mid-March.

Source: CNN Brasil

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