US Senate Approves $40 Billion in Aid to Ukraine
By Miguel Jimenez (Washington). The United States Senate has approved this Thursday with 86 votes in favor and 11 against to provide Ukraine with 40,000 million dollars (about 38,000 million euros) in military, economic and humanitarian aid at a time when Volodimir Zelensky’s forces have been regaining ground from the Russian invasion.
The aid package is finally higher than the 33,000 million that the President of the United States, Joe Biden, had announced and requested from Congress, since items have been added in the parliamentary process. After approval by Congress, the president of the United States is expected to sign and execute the measure quickly, after its processing has been delayed by the obstacles of some Republican senators.
The weapons provided by Western countries in general, and by the United States in particular, have been decisive for the Zelensky government to have managed to repel the Russian invasion so far and have forced Putin’s troops to retreat on several fronts. Biden stressed on a recent visit to a Lockheed Martin plant in Troy (Alabama) the role being played by weapons such as Javelin man-portable missile launchers, with which the Ukrainians “are driving Russian enemies crazy,” he said at the time.
The approval of the new military, economic and humanitarian aid to Ukraine comes on a day that General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has spoken by phone with his Russian counterpart, Valery Gerasimov, the Pentagon has reported. in a brief statement. The Russian Defense Ministry had previously reported on the conversation, the details of which have not been disclosed.
“Military leaders discussed various security-related topics of interest and agreed to keep the lines of communication open,” a Pentagon spokesman said. “In accordance with standard practice, the specific details of their conversation will be kept private,” he added.
The conversation is the first at that level since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. It coincided with the day that US President Joe Biden offered Sweden and Finland his full support for joining NATO and said that this should not be interpreted as a threat to anyone.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called his counterpart, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, last Friday. In that call, as explained by the Pentagon in a statement, “Secretary Austin called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication.”
The conversation between Austin and Shoigu is the first since the war began. The two had last spoken on February 18, shortly before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. On that occasion, Austin unsuccessfully asked the Russian minister to have his forces fall back and move away from the border.