Israel-Palestine Escalation: What Could Happen to US Aid to Ukraine?
16:15 03.11.2023 (Updated: 18:15 03.11.2023)
Rising tensions in the Middle East have forced Washington to provide financial support to its traditional ally, Israel, since the recent escalation of the conflict with Palestine. This could put into question the aid the United States provides to Ukraine from 2022. Sputnik takes a closer look.
The US House of Representatives has voted on an aid bill for Israel that excludes Kiev from the discussions. Republicans snubbed the Biden administration by approving a $14.3 billion aid package for Israel, but the document makes no mention of support for Ukraine.
The package for Israel includes $4 million to bolster the Iron Dome and David's Sling air defense
systems, which are designed to intercept rockets fired by Hamas but showed some shortcomings during the Palestinian group's recent attack. Another $1.2 billion will go toward the development of the Iron Beam anti-missile laser system.
The logic promoted by the Republicans, who want to reserve funds to secure American borders and cut aid to Kiev, could lead to a real "showdown," as the New York Times recently announced.
The aid to Israel, which excludes Kiev
, must now be considered by the US Senate, which has a Democratic majority. According to the New York Times, this could lead to a real split between the Senate and the House of Representatives. The White House could also get involved and veto a document that does not take into account Kiev's interests, which would further complicate the situation.
The decision to separate the two aid components was approved by Mike Johnson, the new Republican speaker of the House of Representatives
"We cannot waste any time getting Israel the aid it needs," he announced, promising to address the issue of aid to Ukraine at a later date.
The situation is particularly complicated as the United States has recently avoided a shutdown that would have put thousands of civil servants out of work. Washington gave itself a break at the beginning of October, but the situation could repeat itself if no agreement is reached on funding the US administration
This will further complicate the situation in Kiev, Vladimir Vasilyev, a researcher at the United States and Canada Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Sputnik.
"A shutdown situation is possible, like the one that was avoided on October 1. This will further delay the issue of allocating funds to Kiev," he said.
Before the Republicans' protest, Joe Biden had requested $105 billion in aid, including $61.4 billion for Ukraine and $14.3 billion for Israel. The remainder was planned to be used for Taiwan and the resolution
of various humanitarian crises.
However, the Biden administration plans to announce a new $425 million military aid
program for Kiev on November 3, media reported, citing US officials.
Since the beginning of the Russia's military operation in Ukraine in 2022, the US has become the largest single country donor to Kiev. As of September, Ukraine has received over $75 billion in direct aid in security assistance. Moscow has consistently stated that continued support for Ukraine only prolongs the conflict and does not contribute to its resolution.