By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com
Congressional negotiators agreed to include nearly $12 billion in new spending on the war in Ukraine in a stopgap spending bill that will likely be voted on this week, Reuters reported on Monday.
Sources told Reuters that the $12 billion will include $4.5 billion in funding for arms being sent to Ukraine and $2.7 billion for other military and intelligence support for Ukraine. The funding also includes $4.5 billion in direct budgetary aid for the Ukrainian government.
A source told The Associated Press that the stopgap bill is meant to fund the federal government through mid-December and could be brought to the Senate for a vote as soon as Tuesday evening.
The funds for Ukraine largely fall in line with a request made by President Biden. The White House asked Congress to authorize $11.7 billion in spending for Ukraine and for $2 billion for energy spending to offset the cost of the sanctions campaign against Moscow.
If the measure is passed, it will bring the total US expenditures for the war in Ukraine to about $65.6 billion. Including the $2 billion in energy spending to offset sanctions brings the total to $67.6 billion. To put the figure in perspective, Russia’s entire annual military budget for 2021 was $65.9 billion.
The Ukraine aid is not meant to last very long. When requesting the funds, the White House said it was needed for the first three months of the 2023 fiscal year, which starts on October 1 for the federal government. Ukraine is preparing to launch more counteroffensive next year and has asked the US to provide more advanced weaponry.
US support for this proxy war on Russia’s border is entering extremely dangerous territory as Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Moscow could defend its “territorial integrity” with nuclear weapons. Russian territory is set to expand into Ukraine as referendums are being held in Russian-controlled areas.