As Ukraine continues a major counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion, the US should send another $12 billion in aid for the embattled nation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday.
“Ukraine has made significant advances against Russia in the war, the vicious war that Putin has waged against the Ukrainian people,” the New York Democrat said at a Midtown press conference, referring to Russia’s strongman ruler Vladimir Putin.
“I will be pushing for at least $12 billion in aid for Ukraine in the budget so they can continue to win the war effort,” he added.
Ukraine is expected to dominate the discussion at the United Nations General Assembly starting Monday in Manhattan — perfect timing, Schumer said, to reaffirm the US commitment to beating back Russia.
Russian diplomats are “going to hear from world leaders what an outlier nation — an outlaw nation — Russia is,” Schumer said. “And that’s another reason to make sure the Russians know more aid is coming and they’re not going to win this war because the United States will back off or turn its back on the people of Ukraine.”
Leaders of two of Russia’s key partners, China and India, recently chided Putin over the invasion.
But as Ukrainian forces take back swaths of territory previously conquered by Russia, Putin has threatened to escalate the attacks.
“Russia is listening to our pressure,” Schumer said. “Both China and India backed off on supporting Russia. So this $12 billion push is more important than ever.”
He said new funding should be included in the annual federal budget that Congress must pass by the end of the month.
The US has already sent nearly $16 billion in aid to Ukraine, according to the State Department, with the latest installment coming just last week.
US officials have credited shipments of weapons like the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, and the High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile, or HARM with shifting the momentum of the war in Ukraine’s favor, Defense News noted.
Schumer echoed that assessment on Sunday.
“There’s been strong Ukrainian counteroffensives, but it’s only because of the weapons that we have gotten them,” he said. “This is a critical time for momentum in Ukraine and Congress and the United States cannot let them down at this point in time.”