Ukraine issued urgent appeals Thursday for ‘guns, guns, guns’ as the United States prepares to resurrect a World War II-era program, making it easier for the president to supply the beleaguered nation the firepower she desperately needed to repel the Russian invasion.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told the Greek parliament that his country needs air defense systems, artillery systems, ammunition and armored vehicles to repel the Russian army.
“The sooner Ukraine receives this aid, the more lives we can save in Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said Thursday.
In Brussels, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pressed NATO for help: “I came here today to discuss the three most important things: weapons, weapons and arms.
In Washington, Congress was busy resuscitating a World War II-era program to facilitate the flow of weapons to Ukraine. A bill unanimously approved by the Senate and pending a decision by the House would temporarily remove requirements for President Joe Biden’s power to lend or rent weapons or other supplies to the Ukrainian government.
The bill includes requirements that prevent loan periods from exceeding five years, allow the United States to take up arms at any time, require the receiving party to repay the United States in full, and let Congress prohibit certain transfers. arms or supplies through the promulgation of a joint agreement. resolution.
Kuleba tweeted Thursday that he was “grateful” for the Senate’s passage of the law and urged the House and the President to quickly turn the bill into law.
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►The UN General Assembly votes Thursday on a US-initiated resolution to suspend Russia from the world’s leading human rights organization over allegations that Russian soldiers killed civilians as they retreated from the area around the Ukrainian capital.
►Russia said it made a ruble debt repayment this week, a move that may not be accepted by Russian foreign creditors and could put the country on the path to historic default.
Senate to vote on Russian oil ban
The US Senate will vote Thursday on banning oil imports from Russia and ending normal trade relations with the country in response to atrocities in Ukraine during the month-long Russian siege. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of war crimes, echoing other US and international officials, urging the Senate to pass the bills to hold the Kremlin accountable for its acts.
The Trade Suspension Bill would allow the United States to pass higher tariffs on Russian imports, while the Russian Oil Ban Bill would codify into law an executive order signed by President Joe Biden.
Both bills were stalled in the Senate, frustrating lawmakers who have called for stepping up the US response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Some European countries are considering whether to ban imports of Russian oil, at a high economic cost: Russia produces around 40% of the natural gas that the European Union uses to heat homes and generate electricity, between other necessities, and about 25% of the oil needed to power its vehicles.
New sanctions ‘make Russia’s pain worse’, says Biden
President Joe Biden said new economic sanctions imposed on Russia on Wednesday, including two adult daughters of President Vladimir Putin, “further bring pain” to Russia over the discovery of atrocities committed by its troops.
“Nothing less than major war crimes is happening,” Biden said, describing scenes of bodies dumped on the streets of the Ukrainian town of Bucha, including civilians being executed with their hands tied behind their backs.
“Responsible nations must come together to hold these preparers accountable. And with our allies and partners, we will continue to increase economic costs and increase Putin’s pain, and further increase Russia’s economic isolation.”
The Biden administration announced sanctions against 21 Kremlin and Russian elite officials in addition to Putin’s two adult daughters, Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, and the wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Other measures include full blocking sanctions against Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, and Russia’s largest private bank, Alfa Bank, as well as a ban on US investment in Russia. European allies have taken similar steps.
Contributor: Associated Press