Biden asks the US Congress for an additional 33 billion dollars to help Ukraine

the president of USA, Joe Bidenasked Congress on Thursday for an additional $33 billion to arm and support Ukraine and said “give in” to Russia is not an option for the West, as the war enters its third month.

In an address from the White HouseBiden also detailed proposed new laws to allow the use of luxury goods confiscated from Russian oligarchs under unprecedented sanctions to compensate Ukraine for the destruction caused by the aggression promoted by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

Biden acknowledged the high costs of US support for Ukraine, but said there is no other option.

“The cost of this fight is not cheap. But giving in to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen,” he said.

Reflecting the magnitude of US assistance to Ukraine, Biden assured that USA already supplied to Ukraine 10 anti-tank weapon systems for every tank that Russia sent to that country.

However, he rejected increasingly heated claims by Russian officials and state media that Moscow is fighting the entire West.

“We are not attacking Russia. We are helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression,” Biden said.

Qualifying the rhetoric in Moscow about the possibility of a nuclear war As a sign of “desperation,” Biden asserted that “no one should make idle comments about the use of nuclear weapons or the possibility of using them. Is irresponsible”.

And after the Russian state gas giant, Gazpromannounced that it would cut off supplies to Bulgaria Y Polandmembers of the NATO and of the European UnionBiden said the United States will prevent Russia from undermining sanctions and will work to shore up European energy flow.

“We will not allow Russia to intimidate or blackmail to circumvent these sanctions. We will not allow Russia to use its oil and gas to avoid the consequences of its aggression,” he said.

Congressional Approval

The bulk of Biden’s huge package will be “$20 billion in security and military assistance,” which will allow “weapons and ammunition to go to the Ukrainian people,” a senior US official told reporters.

Another $8.5 billion “will help the ukrainian government to respond to the immediate crisis”, and some 3,000 million dollars will be allocated to humanitarian assistance and to face the global rise in food pricegiven that Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat.

The package also includes funding to address economic shocks in the United States and elsewhere, ranging from the impact on food to the availability of critical components for high-tech manufacturing.

Congress must approve the request, and while both Republicans and the Democratic Party of Biden declared themselves willing to continue supporting Ukraine, a dispute over another request from the president for new funds to face the covid pandemicof 22,500 million dollars, threatens to complicate the process.

“I don’t care how they do it, I’m sending both,” Biden said, warning that USA neither should you “lower your guard” in your fight against Covid-19.

After the Russian oligarchs

In parallel to the military assistance, Washington is leading the imposition of a battery of sanctions to isolate Russia and put pressure on Putin.

Biden announced a proposal to increase pressure on Putin’s billionaire inner circle, with better confiscation procedures that allow the oligarchs’ assets to be “sold” to “remediate the damage caused by Russia.”

So far, EU allies have blocked more than $30 billion in Russian assets, including nearly $7 billion in luxury assets belonging to the oligarchs, such as yachts, works of art, real estate and helicopters, the report said. White House it’s a statement.

The United States has “sanctioned and blocked more than $1 billion worth of ships and aircraft, as well as frozen hundreds of millions of dollars in assets belonging to Russian elites in US accounts,” the statement said. One of the latest seizures was of a $90 million superyacht belonging to the Russian billionaire. Victor Vekselberg.

Biden’s proposed legislative package would also tighten legal pressure on Russian oligarchs.

One proposal is to allow the seizure of assets used to evade sanctions. Another is to expand the arsenal used by US prosecutors, doubling the amount of time they are allowed to conduct money laundering investigations from five to 10 years, and enforcing anti-extortion laws used against organized crime to address money evasion. sanctions.

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