The US on Tuesday announced it was sending $1.7 billion in new aid to fund the Ukrainian government that is meant to pay Ukrainian healthcare workers and support other “essential services.”
The funds are coming from the US Treasury Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and are being pulled from the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill President Biden signed into law back in May.
Also on Tuesday, the EU approved a new Ukraine aid package for 1 billion euros ($1 billion) in loans. The 1 billion is the first payment that’s part of an EU plan to provide Ukraine with 9 billion euros in financial assistance.
While Western nations have been shipping billions of dollars worth of weapons into Ukraine, the leadership in Kyiv keeps asking for more, including more economic assistance. Last month, the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s financial committee said the government needs $5 billion in external aid, or it will have to make drastic budget cuts.
The $40 billion aid package Biden signed in May includes $8.5 billion for economic assistance. More spending for Ukraine could be approved soon as the $40 billion is meant to last through September 30, and President Biden has said he’s willing to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”
Before Russia’s invasion, Western officials often cited corruption in Ukraine’s government as a reason why Kyiv couldn’t join NATO or the EU. But those concerns have fallen by the wayside as billions in aid are flowing into Ukraine with virtually no oversight.