Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a draft “victory” budget for 2023 that includes a record $38 billion deficit that Kyiv is expecting its Western backers to cover.
“Do everything to bring victory closer. It was with this philosophy that we drafted this budget,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said after the vote, according to Reuters. The budget passed with 295 lawmakers voting in favor, none opposing, and 35 abstaining.
Shmyhal said that the budget includes about $27 billion for military and security spending. To put the figure in perspective, the Pentagon says the US has pledged $17.9 billion in arms for Ukraine since the February 24 invasion. According to the German-based Kiel Institute, total US military aid for Ukraine since January 24 stands at about $27 billion.
Shmyhal has previously said that the US, the EU, and the IMF to pay for the $38 billion budget deficit. He expects the US to hand over $18 billion for the deficit and for the EU and IMF to contribute the rest.
Last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked international donors in virtual meetings with IMF and World Bank officials for an additional $17 billion on top of the $38 billion for the deficit. He said the $17 billion would be to cover the cost of reconstruction projects.
US Congress is looking to pass a new massive Ukraine aid package worth roughly $50 billion before the new Congress is sworn in this January. The new aid bill would likely include the funds to cover Ukraine’s budget deficit and would bring total US spending on the war to over $115 billion.