International

Biden signs $40 billion for Ukraine assistance during Asia trip

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech during the state dinner hosted by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at the National Museum of Korea, in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 21, 2022.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech during the state dinner hosted by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at the National Museum of Korea, in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 21, 2022. | Photo Credit: AP

President of the United States Joe Biden on Saturday signed legislation to support Ukraine with another $40 billion in U.S. assistance as the Russian-Ukraine crisis approaches its fourth month.

The legislation, which was passed by Congress with bipartisan support, deepens the U.S. commitment to Ukraine at a time of uncertainty about the war's future. Ukraine has successfully defended Kyiv, and Russia has refocused its offensive on the country's east, but American officials warn of the potential for a prolonged conflict.

The funding is intended to support Ukraine through September, and it dwarfs an earlier emergency measure that provided $13.6 billion.

The new legislation will provide $20 billion in military assistance, ensuring a steady stream of advanced weapons that have been used to blunt Russia's advances. There's also $8 billion in general economic support, $5 billion to address global food shortages that could result from the collapse of Ukrainian agriculture and more than $1 billion to help refugees.

Mr. Biden signed the measure under unusual circumstances. Because he's in the middle of a trip to Asia, a U.S. official brought a copy of the bill on a commercial flight to Seoul for the president to sign, according to a White House official.

The logistics reflect a sense of urgency around continuing U.S. support for Ukraine, but also the overlapping international challenges facing President Joe Biden. Even as he tries to reorient American foreign policy to confront China, he's continuing to direct resources to the largest conflict in Europe since World War II.

Mr. Biden also signed an unrelated measure, one intended to increase access to baby formula at a time when supplies remain scarce in the United States. The legislation will allow government benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — better known as WIC — to be used to buy more types of infant formula.


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Printable version | May 21, 2022 10:30:14 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/biden-signs-40-billion-for-ukraine-assistance-during-asia-trip/article65442482.ece