Dissecting US aid package to Ukraine

Dissecting US aid package to Ukraine

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Dissecting US aid package to Ukraine

Doubts linger about the impact of the latest package of aid for Ukraine passed by the US House of Representatives.

After nearly six months of trying, the House of Representatives finally passed a bill on aid to Ukraine. The Senate is almost sure to approve the bill, which will then be signed by US President Joe Biden. However, even US military experts don’t expect this latest dose of Western support to change the situation on the battlefield. A country like Ukraine, provoked its giant neighbour based on promises from its Western neighbours, should not expect anything else but devastation.

US lawmakers have approved a total of $60.8 bln in aid for Ukraine. However, not all the money is meant for Kiev. The bill allocates $23.2 bln for replenishing US weapons stockpiles, $13.8 bln for weapons procurement, $11.3 bln for the current US operations in the region and another $26 mln for Ukraine aid monitoring. The document also provides for supplies of long-range ATACMS missiles.

Most of the money will go to increasing the capacities of the US defense industry long-term, to produce weapons that are not expected to make it to Ukraine, Jim Jatras, ex-adviser for the Republican leadership in the US Senate, told Izvestia. However, US support may encourage other countries to increase their aid to Kiev, Professor Saeed Khan of Wayne State University in Detroit noted.

Washington’s assistance did not stop there. The most controversial of the bill’s provisions concerns the seizure of frozen Russian assets. Some $4-5 bln will be provided to Ukraine in loans. Jatras sees this move as an attempt to cloak the illegitimate seizure of Russian money in some semblance of legality. Professor Richard Bensel of New York’s Cornell University believes that the bill’s key goal is not to seize Russian assets in the US (though this will be done), but to inspire European countries to grab Russian assets frozen in Europe. This move may have repercussions in Asia and Africa and then Western Europe will not no what to do.

US legislators managed to approve aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan only through separate bills. About $26.4 bln has been allocated to the Jewish state. Assistance to Taiwan will definitely anger Beijing but any decisive actions seem unlikely for now. Jatras points out that the aid will not have a significant impact on the military balance in the Western Pacific.