The figure is spectacular. It speaks of the strength of a political, financial and, above all, military commitment. The White House is asking the American Congress for a new envelope of 33 billion dollars (31.4 billion euros) for Ukraine. The approach was formalized on Thursday April 28 and clarified by President Joe Biden in a speech delivered in the morning. Of this sum, 20 billion dollars would be devoted to military aid, 8.5 billion to the economy and 3 billion to humanitarian support.
This extension requested by the Biden administration should allow kyiv to meet its urgent needs in the next five months. On March 9, Congress had already adopted a global aid package of 13.6 billion dollars for Ukraine.
“In reality, we are short of money”, explained President Joe Biden on Thursday, justifying the need to continue without interruption the deliveries of ammunition and new equipment requested by the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky. The longer the war went on, the more the Ukrainians thwarted Russian military plans, and the more the Americans joined them, while refusing the label of co-belligerent. The message to Moscow is clear: Washington will stand alongside Ukraine for the long term.
“We are not attacking Russia. We help Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression”justified Joe Biden. “The cost of this fight will not be small, he added, but yielding to aggression will be more costly if allowed to unfold”. The prolonged exposure of Russian vulnerabilities is a source of delight and amazement for American experts. Asked about the popular discourse in Moscow, where the war is presented as a direct confrontation with NATO and the United States, President Biden felt that this view “does not reflect the truth but their failure”.
A highly symbolic proposal
This request for a budget extension is accompanied by a highly symbolic proposal, intended to further punish the Russians who have become wealthy thanks to their proximity to power. The United States wants the seizure of property linked to the “Russian kleptocracy” – according to the expression of the White House – is henceforth followed by their liquidation. The financial product of these operations would then be donated to Ukraine, as compensation for the heavy human and material losses recorded during the war launched by the Kremlin.
This would mean creating an accelerated procedure, administratively, but also adopting a new offense punishing any material benefit resulting from a corruption scheme. “with the Russian government”. From a legal point of view, such a maneuver, which can be likened to state expropriation, raises a number of questions, not to mention possible Russian retaliation measures. It still needs to be clarified.
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