Plan d’aide à l’Ukraine: les Etats-Unis envoient un «message retentissant»

Plan d’aide à l’Ukraine: les Etats-Unis envoient un «message retentissant»

War between Ukraine and Russiacase

The House of Representatives has just approved a plan of 40 billion dollars, which must still be validated by the Senate. This program is on the way to becoming the largest support given to a foreign country by Congress in twenty years.

This could mark a turning point in the war in Ukraine, and above all it is a major investment by the United States abroad. On Monday, the American House of Representatives voted 368 votes against 57 for an aid and humanitarian program of 40 billion dollars (38 billion euros) to the country which has been suffering from the Russian offensive for seventy-seven days. The equivalent of Cameroon’s GDP in 2020. And this, a few weeks after having already approved emergency aid of 13.6 billion dollars for the war effort. A total amount of 53 billion dollars therefore, on the way to becoming the support plan for a foreign country the most important for twenty years. For comparison, in 2021, the US budget for foreign aid and assistance, in total, was $41 billion.

A program approved almost unanimously

The escalation of violence, the 7,061 civilian victims according to United Nations observers, the morbid images, the staggering testimonies that have emerged from the conflict for several weeks, have led the President of the United States Joe Biden to multiply calls for Congress to finance the Ukrainian war effort. $33 billion has been requested by his administration.

Just before the vote, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed MPs in a letter:Time is of the essence and we cannot afford to wait. With this aid package, America sends a resounding message to the world of our unwavering determination to stand with the brave people of Ukraine until victory is won.” Nancy Pelosi visited Ukraine earlier this month with a delegation of Democratic parliamentarians and spoke at length with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about US aid.

During the House debate, Republicans insisted on adding money to military assistance, while Democrats argued for the amount to be equal to that of humanitarian aid. In detail, the $40 billion includes $6 billion for weaponry, intelligence support, training and other defense aid to Ukrainian forces; 8.7 billion to resupply American equipment already sent to the country; 3.9 billion for European Command operations (notably intelligence); 9 billion are planned to ensure the continuity of Ukrainian democratic institutions; 4.4 billion for emergency food aid in Ukraine and the rest of the world, in anticipation of difficulties in the supply and distribution of food; finally, 900 million dollars are allocated to aid for refugees. In addition, this plan would allow Joe Biden to quickly authorize the transfer of $11 billion in defense equipment, weapons and supplies. This plan must then be validated by the Senate. Only Republican MPs voted against.

The approval of this program comes as Republicans and Democrats fail to agree on national budgets such as the extension of the tax credit or measures to control the spread of Covid-19. One of the arguments advanced by the defenders of the plan is that the conflict could be more costly in the long term, if the Ukrainian forces and population do not receive emergency and immediate assistance.

The situation is getting worse on the ground

Is it the advance on the ground of the Russian troops which also succeeded in convincing the representatives of the Chamber? Tuesday, the day after Russian strikes on the city of Odessa, the head of the American intelligence services, Avril Haines, affirmed that Vladimir Putin intended not to stop at Donbass. She also said that the withdrawal of the Russian army in the east and south of the country shows a temporary change in strategy, after having failed to quickly take Kyiv, “to regain the initiative then.

She also spoke in the House: “The most likely points of escalation in the coming weeks are increased attempts by Russia to bar Western security aid, retaliation for Western economic sanctions, or threats against the ruling regime,” before indicating that the Russian president is most likely counting on “A weakening of the resolve of the United States and the European Union when the shortages of food goods and the rise in energy prices will worsen”. According to her, the Kremlin could even organize nuclear exercises or raise the specter of an attack in order to dissuade the United States and NATO from strengthening their support for Kyiv.

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