Washington says the $1.7 billion sum will help keep Volodymyr Zelensky’s government afloat
The US announced on Tuesday that it will send an additional $1.7 billion in funding to Ukraine, in a bid to help President Volodymyr Zelensky pay public sector-employees. US President Joe Biden has previously told Americans that they would have to sacrifice their quality of life to prop up Kiev.
The aid package, which was announced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was described as “direct budgetary aid” to “ensure the Ukrainian government can continue operating.” It is the second such tranche of aid announced by USAID in less than two weeks, bringing the agency’s total spending on Ukraine to date to $4 billion.
Zelensky has previously claimed that his government needed $5 billion per month to remain functional and to pay the salaries of government employees – including soldiers, teachers and healthcare workers.
“The United States is rushing in with financial support to help the government keep the lights on, provide essential services to innocent citizens and pay the health care workers who are providing lifesaving support on the frontlines,” USAID administrator Samantha Power said in a statement.
News of the latest cash transfer to Ukraine comes after US President Joe Biden on Friday announced a $400 million package of military aid to Kiev, the 15th since Russia launched its military operation in February. In total, the US has allocated more than $55 billion worth of military and economic aid to Ukraine since February.
Back in the US, inflation has reached a 40-year-high and motorists are paying more for gasoline than ever before. Pressed on these economic concerns last month, Biden told reporters that Americans will pay high prices at home “as long as it takes, so Russia cannot defeat Ukraine.” Likewise, Biden’s economic adviser, Brain Deese, told CNN earlier this month that the US has to “stand firm” and endure soaring costs for the sake of the “liberal world order.”
While a bill providing some $40 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine passed Congress in May with bipartisan support, some Republicans and conservative pundits have begun to push back against the Biden administration’s open checkbook for Kiev.