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February 10, 2024

Ukraine aid bill inches forward in US Senate

The United States Senate is working through the weekend to try and pass the $95.3 billion (€88.4 billion) aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other allies, despite continued objections from some Republican lawmakers.

The package would commit an extra $60 billion for Kyiv's fight against Russia, mostly to purchase US-made defense equipment, including munitions and air defense systems. It also includes $8 billion for the Ukrainian government.

Senators advanced to the next preliminary steps with a 64-19 vote late into the night Friday, with 14 Republicans joining Democrats to move it forward.

Next to financial aid, US military hardware vital for Kyiv

The Senate could hold a final vote Sunday, ahead of a two-week recess, but the plan would still face a major challenge passing the upper House of Representatives.

In that chamber, the Republican majority is even more hostile to helping Ukraine, as the war prepares to enter its third year.

House Speaker Mike Johnson has indicated he could split the aid for the US allies into separate bills.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday evening again urged US lawmakers to approve the new bill.

"I am convinced that Congress will make the decision to support Ukraine with the necessary aid. This will strengthen our defense," he said in Kyiv.