WASHINGTON — In recent weeks, there has been increasing speculation about the finances that the White House and Washington allocate for military aid to Ukraine. At the moment, Washington has given 66.1 billion US dollars, but this money is not only “for Ukraine” and it is not only military aid. This article aims to clarify what exactly constitutes “billions of dollars in military aid” and to debunk the “blank check” claim.
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Since the beginning of the war, the President of the US, Mr. Joe Biden, together with his administration, and after permission from Congress, regularly [in weeks or months] announce military aid to Ukraine of a specific value. Sometimes it is hundreds of millions of US dollars or several billion.
This money [for military aid] is not given to Ukraine. I.e. the money is not transferred via bank transfer or any other way to Kyiv, which decides how to spend it. Mr. Biden touts the value of military aid because every single cartridge, projectile, missile, or weapon system costs money.
Military aid to Ukraine is an expense from the country’s budget. Actions related to the war in Ukraine, the sending of weapons to Ukraine, their deployment, relocation, and taking from a country’s stockpiles, and the weapons themselves must be valued.
I.e. when Congress authorized Mr. Biden to “billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine” that meant withdrawing military equipment to be sent to Ukraine.
Also, the “war in Ukraine” is not only about Ukraine but also Europe. I.e. strengthening cooperation with US partners in Europe and strengthening NATO’s ability in Europe is related to moving weapons, or sending more troops to a certain area. This money also does not leave the US but is an expense that must be paid by the US government, as the US command in chief takes responsibility for the actions.
Last but not least, the “billions of US dollars in military aid to Ukraine” are also being used to replenish US stockpiles of weapons that have already been sent to Ukraine.
I.e. the phrase “Billions of US dollars in military aid to Ukraine” is a valuation of intentions that will turn into action, not that Kyiv will receive this money in the government’s bank account.
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