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US approves eye-watering $40bn ‘aid’ for Ukraine

WASHINGTON approved more than $40 billion (£32bn) in new “aid” for Ukraine on Thursday after a week of wrangling over the eye-watering sum. 

The US Senate agreed the package by 86 votes in favour with 11 voting against. 

“The message this sends is that the United States is committed, that we are going to stand with any country that is a democracy when there is an autocracy that attempts to overrun it,” Idaho Republican Jim Risch said. 

The Bill had been delayed by a week because of objections raised by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who insisted the massive spend on arms for Ukraine was not in the national interest. 

“If Congress really believed giving Ukraine $40bn was in our national interest, they could easily pay for it by taxing every income taxpayer $500,” he said ahead of Thursday’s vote. 

He had previously rejected the multibillion package, saying: “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.”

The House of Representatives had already approved the Bill but upped the sum from the $33bn (£26bn) proposed by US President Joe Biden last week, voting 386 to 57 in favour. 

This latest legislation comes in addition to $13.6bn (£11bn) in emergency assistance for Ukraine approved in March bringing the total US spend on aid to Ukraine to a historic $53bn (£42bn) since February. 

It comes on top of an additional $100m (£80m) for US arms, equipment and other military supplies authorised by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The so-called Group of Seven of advanced economies — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US — also agreed to provide Ukraine with $18.4bn (£15bn) to help in “paying its bills” on Thursday. 

But Italy faces a looming recession with Prime Minister Mario Draghi considering a state of emergency due to the economic crisis. 

Both Germany and Italy face as many as half a million job losses as a result of cutting off Russian gas supplies. 


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