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Biden signs $40B Ukraine aid package

Biden signs $40B Ukraine aid package
President Joe Biden signed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine while in South Korea. Pool Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo

May 21 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Saturday signed a law providing $40 billion in additional aid and equipment to Ukraine to fend off the Russian invasion, the White House announced.

Biden signed the legislation while in South Korea.

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The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the package, 86-11, with all but 11 Republicans siding with Democrats in the vote. The bill also had broad bipartisan support in the House in its 368-57 vote earlier this month.

Biden asked for $33 billion in new aid for Ukraine earlier this month and the House increased the proposal to a $40 million package after adding more defensive and humanitarian funding.

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The United States has given billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24. That aid, however, has just about run out.

About a fifth of the money in the bill would to go restocking U.S. military equipment sent to Ukraine. Some senators raised concerns about giving Ukraine -- a former Soviet republic located right next to Russia -- more weapons like stinger and Javelin missiles.

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The package includes $6 billion in assistance for training, equipment, weapons and logistics support as well as $8.7 billion to replenish U.S. stocks of military equipment that the Biden administration has already sent.

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More than $5 billion is included to alleviate global food insecurity, $3.9 billion for European Command operations, $900 million allotted to refugee support services for arrivals from Ukraine and nearly $14 billion for the State Department to aid Kyiv.

Also this week, Biden authorized an additional $100 million in military assistance for Ukraine, the 10th drawdown of equipment for Kyiv since the start of the war.

The Defense Department said in a statement that the equipment going to Ukraine includes 18 155mm howitzers, 18 tactical vehicles to tow the howitzers, three counter-artillery radars and field equipment as well as spare parts.

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Darryl Coote contributed to this report.

War in Ukraine: Scenes from Kharkiv

A woman eats food given to her by volunteers at a food delivery station run by a Hare Krishna group in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on May 20, 2022. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

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