US gridlock over Ukraine aid is 'already' having consequences on the battlefield, warns Stoltenberg

The US Congress is knee-deep in a legislative battle over a foreign aid bill that earmarks $60 billion for Ukraine.
The US Congress is knee-deep in a legislative battle over a foreign aid bill that earmarks $60 billion for Ukraine. Copyright J. David Ake/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews
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The impasse in the US Congress over new assistance to Ukraine "has already had consequences" on the battlefield, Jens Stoltenberg has warned.

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"It is impacting the flow of support," the NATO Secretary General said on Wednesday afternoon after a two-day meeting of defence ministers in Brussels.

"To some extent, this can be compensated by increased support from other allies. And European allies and Canada are stepping up, are doing more. If we put together the military, the economic and the humanitarian support, actually Canada and European allies are providing more support than the United States," he went on.

"But the United States being by far the biggest ally – of course, it's vital they continue to provide support and therefore I continue to expect they will be able to make a decision as soon as possible."

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have for weeks been knee-deep in a bitter legislative battle over a proposed bill that would release fresh money for Kyiv, which desperately needs advanced weapons to replenish its depleted stocks and face off the advance of invading Russian troops.

The latest bill approved by the Senate earmarks $60 billion (€55.7 billion) for Ukraine in military and financial support, $14 billion for Israel, $9.2 billion in humanitarian relief, including additional aid for the Gaza Strip, and $8 billion for the Indo-Pacific region.

But the bipartisan support in the upper chamber faces an uphill battle to be replicated in the House of Representatives, where hard-line Republicans, under the influence of presidential hopeful Donald Trump, have vowed to block the measure.

Republican Speaker Mike Johnson said on Wednesday the House would not be "rushed" to move forward the $95.2-billion package, which contains no money for border control and migration management, a must-have priority for his party during negotiations.

With no clear path forward in Washington, Stoltenberg issued from Brussels a plea for the deadlock to be broken "one way or another" in the coming days.

Supporting Ukraine, he said, is an "example of trans-Atlantic burden-sharing" rather than something the US does "alone." The Secretary-General then repeated his message that preventing Vladimir Putin's victory is a goal in the interest of all democratic nations.

"If President Putin wins in Ukraine, it's also a challenge for us. It will be a message to authoritarian leaders not only Putin but also to President Xi (Jinping) that when they use military force, they get what they want," Stoltenberg told reporters.

"What happens in Ukraine today can happen in Taiwan tomorrow. So this matters for our security and it matters for US security."

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