Conflicts & War

Biden signs bill accelerating shipment of Ukraine aid with weapons loan

Washington, May 9 (EFE).- President Joe Biden on Monday signed a bill to accelerate the shipment of military aid to Ukraine by providing a loan to buy US weapons to fight the Russian invasion.

Biden placed his signature on the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 on the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.

The new law was passed in Congress with bipartisan support last month and is based on a US program created during World War II to help the European allies defend themselves against the forces of Adolf Hitler, and now it will serve to eliminate bureaucratic obstacles and thus speed up the shipment of US military aid to the beleaguered East European country, which Russia invaded on Feb. 24.

Just 10 Republican members of the House of Representatives voted against the bill.

The US president said that the bill is an “important tool” to help the Ukrainians in their fight to defend their country and their democracy against the “brutal” war launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Every day Ukrainians fight for their lives,” Biden said. “The cost of the fight is not cheap but caving to aggression is even more costly.”

Biden mentioned the anniversary of the defeat of fascism and noted that Monday is also Europe Day, which marks the 1950 signing of the Schuman Declaration that opened the door to the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the international organization that served to unify West European countries after WWII and which proved to be the seed for the European Union.

Biden emphasized the cooperation among the countries of the EU in supporting Ukraine and defending democracy, human rights and the peaceful resolution of disagreements.

The signing of the bill comes as the Biden government has almost exhausted the $13 billion in military assistance for Ukraine approved by Congress in March.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday that calculations are that this aid will run out by the third week of May.

As part of the assistance, Biden last Friday announced a $150 million package to deliver weapons, ammunition and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Given the imminent exhaustion of the funds previously authorized by Congress, Biden had asked lawmakers to give the green light to $33 billion in additional aid to Ukraine.

Putin on Monday celebrated what Russia calls Victory Day with a huge military parade on Red Square, delivering a speech in which he justified the invasion of Ukraine to crush what he has claimed – without offering any proof – is the “nazification” of the neighboring country.

EFE ssa/pamp/rrt/bp

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