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U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law the "Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022," which provides a different authority to lend or lease defense articles to Ukraine or to Eastern European countries, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"Every day Ukrainians pay with their lives," Biden said in the Oval Office as he signed the bill at a ceremony with Vice President Harris and members of Congress. "The cost of the fight is not cheap but caving to aggression is even more costly. That's why we're staying in this," he added.

The United States, Biden said, will support the Ukrainians "in their fight to defend their country and their democracy against Putin's brutal war."

The act would exempt the administration from certain provisions of law that govern the loan or lease of military equipment to foreign countries, such as the five-year limit on the duration of the loan or the requirement that receiving countries pay all costs incurred by the United States in leasing the defense equipment, TURAN's correspondent was told by Pentagon sources.

Any loan or lease of military equipment to Ukraine would still be subject to all applicable laws concerning the return of such equipment, the Pentagon said.

Lend-lease has been used before, during World War II. At that time, a total of $50.1 billion, equivalent to $690 billion in 2020, worth of supplies were shipped. In all, $31.4 billion went to the UK, $3.2 billion to France, $1.6 billion to China, $11.3 billion to the Soviet Union and the remaining $2.6 billion to other allies.

The U.S. has sent military and other security assistance to Ukraine at a rapid clip as the country has fought back against Russian attacks on major cities such Kyiv and, more recently, on southern and eastern Ukraine. 

Biden last week announced plans to send another $150 million in military aid to Ukraine, which the administration said has almost exhausted the funds authorized by Congress.

The White House on Monday also asked lawmakers to authorize a whopping $33 billion in aid to help Ukraine sustain the fight against Russia over the coming months and address the refugee crisis and global economic impacts of the war.

In response, the House of Representatives confirmed Monday night that it will consider an additional $40 billion in supplemental funding for Ukraine today, according to congressional sources.

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C,


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