Biden signs $40bn Ukraine aid bill after it was flown to him in South Korea

Hard copy of bill flown by official on commercial flight to Asia

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Saturday 21 May 2022 17:08
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Joe Biden in South Korea, first stop of Asia tour

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Joe Biden has signed the $40bn Ukraine aid package after the bill was physically flown to South Korea, the White House confirmed.

The Senate passed the bill following the president’s departure from Washington to Seoul, but he signed it on Saturday before his state dinner with South Korea’s president Yoon Suk Yeol.

The Biden administration says that an official brought a hard copy father bill on a commercial flight to Asia for the president’s signature. Mr Biden also signed a bill to improve access to baby formula during the current nationwide shortage.

The Ukraine bill includes money for military and humanitarian aid for the war-torn country as it continues to try and repel Russia’s forces.

The funding will assist Ukraine’s military and national security forces, as well as funding support for Ukrainian refugees who have been displaced by Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked aggression.

“The President does intend to sign the bill while he’s on the road so that he can sign it expeditiously. The modalities of that are being worked right now so that he can get it and sign it. There won’t be a gap for that very reason,” National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters traveling with the President to Seoul.

The funding is intended to support Ukraine with Russia until September, and is significantly larger than a previous emergency measure that provided the embattled country with $13.6bn.

The bill will give Ukraine $20bn in military assistance to pay for the new weaponry it needs to fight Russia in the fourth month of the war.

There will also be $8bn in general economic support, $5bn to address global food shortages that could be caused by the impact on the country’s agricultural economy and more than $1bn to help refugees.

Ukraine has fought determinedly during the conflict, which began on 24 February, and defended its capital Kyiv against advancing forces. But after withdrawing from the area, Russia is expected to focus its attack on eastern areas of Ukraine in what could become a prolonged conflict.

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