USA caves and signs $95bn aid for Ukraine&Israel – and Taiwan

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The US Senate has approved a $95bn foreign aid package that includes military support for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the legislation into law immediately.

The Senate on Tuesday evening backed the measure passed by the US House of Representatives on Saturday. It passed in a bipartisan vote of 79-18.

It includes $61bn in military aid for Ukraine, after a months-long weaning which put Ukraine in a highly sensitive position. 

The Senate had passed a similar aid package in February, but a group of conservatives who oppose new Ukraine support had prevented it from coming to a vote in the House of Representatives.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: „After more than six months of hard work and many twists and turns in the road, America sends a message to the entire world: we will not turn our back on you.”

The new package bill includes the foreign aid as well as legislation to confiscate Russian assets held by Western banks; new sanctions on Russia, Iran and China; and a provision that will force the Chinese company ByteDance to sell the popular social media service TikTok.

Reacting to the vote, Ukrainian President Zelensky said it „reinforces America’s role as a beacon of democracy and leader of the free world”.

The commander of Ukraine’s National Guard, Oleksandr Pivnenko, said he was expecting an attempt by Russian forces to advance on the city near the two countries’ border.

In the House on Saturday, a majority of Republicans in the chamber voted against the foreign aid package.

The bill also faced resistance among a handful of Senate Republicans who opposed any new aid to Ukraine.

Fifteen voted with two Democrats – as well as independent Senator Bernie Sanders who objected to providing new offensive weapons to Israel – against the bill.

„Pouring more money into Ukraine’s coffers will only prolong the conflict and lead to more loss of life”, Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville remarked.

„No one at the White House, the Pentagon, or the state department can articulate what victory looks like in this fight.”

The foreign aid package passed on Tuesday also includes:

  • $26.4bn in military support for Israel, with $9.1bn of that allocated to humanitarian aid for Gaza
  • $8.1bn in funding for allies in the Asia-Pacific, including Taiwan, to „counter communist China”.

A Chinese government spokeswoman called the military aid for Taiwan a „serious violation of the one-China principle” that would „send the wrong signal to the pro-independence separatist forces” in Taiwan.

„We urge the US to take practical actions to fulfil its commitment not to support Taiwan independence by not arming Taiwan in any way”, she said.

Taiwan is a self-governing island and considers itself distinct from China, but Beijing views it as a breakaway province and hopes to bring it back under its own control.

UK to provide extra £500m to Ukraine, pledges to increase spending on defense


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