Blinken hopes to convince Congress to approve Ukraine aid package

Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken

U.S. aid to Ukraine has already made Russia’s invasion a strategic failure, but without further support these gains will be forfeit, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in his address to the U.S. Senate on Oct. 31.

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Blinken told lawmakers that without U.S. military aid, Russia, would immediately seize any opportunity at hand. He explained that further U.S. support would aid in revitalizing Ukraine's economy and compensate for the losses inflicted by Russia. It would also help "reimagine" Ukraine's long-tern trajectory through "investments in new industries, infrastructure, supply chains tied to Europe and the world, clean and secure energy, anti-corruption bodies, civil society, and media."

Blinken further mentioned that funding approved by Congress has enabled Ukrainians to continue their defense and ensured that the invasion has become a strategic blunder for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. He also reminded lawmakers that U.S. allies also back Ukraine with significant contributions and that "turning away from their efforts" would have long-term negative impacts on U.S. national security and Washington's global leadership.

The secretary stated that due to Western economic sanctions, Russia increasingly relies on assistance from Iran, supplying the Iranian regime with advanced military technology, undermining Israel's security. He stressed that allowing Russia to gain the upper hand with Iran's support equates to appeasing both Moscow and Tehran.

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His address was interrupted by protestors demanding a cease-fire in Gaza and an "end to funding the genocide [of Palestinians]."

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On Oct. 20, the White House requested nearly $106 billion from Congress for Ukraine, Israel, and national security needs.

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Days later, the House of Representatives elected a new speaker – Mike Johnson. He is regarded as a supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump and an opponent of aid to Ukraine.

After his election, he stated that he was open to discussing further support for Ukraine. He also said that the aid packages for Israel and Ukraine should be considered separately.

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