The US Congress has approved $12.3bn in aid to help Ukraine battle its invasion by Russia as part of a stopgap spending bill that averts a government shutdown ahead of a midnight deadline.
The package includes $3bn for arms, supplies and salaries for Ukraine’s military and authorises President Joe Biden to direct the Pentagon to transfer $3.7bn in weapons and other hardware to Ukraine.
The so-called “continuing resolution”, which passed by 230 votes to 201, with 10 Republicans joining the Democrats, also provides $4.5bn for Kyiv to keep the country’s finances stable and keep the government running.
The allocation, which was approved just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed four Moscow-occupied Ukrainian regions, takes the US contribution to the war effort to $65bn.
“This new grant assistance is a further demonstration of US confidence in Ukraine and will support critical government operations and provide relief to Ukrainian people suffering under Russia’s brutal war,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said in a statement.
“Critically, this funding will also help bolster Ukraine’s valiant resistance to Putin’s illegal war of aggression. We call on fellow donors to not only speed up their existing disbursements to Ukraine, but also to increase their scale of assistance.”