Russian comments on the possibility of nuclear war were “irresponsible”

US President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he has signed a $33 billion request for supplemental funding for Ukraine from Congress as Russia’s invasion enters a critical new phase.

The funding request is expected to support Ukraine through this fiscal year, or about five months, and includes $20.4 billion in military assistance.

Biden framed the massive request as critical to global stability.

He called on Congress to approve the funding “as quickly as possible.”

He reiterated that he would not send US troops to Ukraine and said the United States “is not attacking Russia” but is “helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression,” blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Russia is the aggressor, there are no conditions, conditions or buts about it. Russia is the aggressor, and the world must and will hold Russia to account,” she said.

Biden checked off some of the provisions in the $33 billion request, including:

  • $20.4 billion requested for military and security assistance
  • $8.5 billion in economic assistance to the government and people of Ukraine
  • $3 billion will be allocated for additional humanitarian assistance and food security funds, and specific funds to address economic shocks.

He also detailed proposed new legislation to hold Russian oligarchs accountable.

While members agreed that more money is needed for Ukraine, it is still unclear how quickly the supplement would move through Congress or how quickly this proposal on the oligarchs could move forward. One likely path would be to tie the two bills together, but Republican and Democratic leaders are in the early stages of talks about how to pass broader funding for Ukraine.

The president also reacted to news earlier this week that Russia had stopped gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. after both countries refused to pay in rubles, injecting more uncertainty into already shaky war-torn global oil markets.

“Let me be clear, we will not allow Russia to intimidate or blackmail our way out of these sanctions. We will not allow them to use their oil and gas to avoid consequences. We are working with other nations like Korea, Japan, Qatar and others to support our effort to help European allies threatened by Russia with gas blackmail and their energy needs in other ways,” she said.

Read more about the proposal here.

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