The US Senate approved $12 billion in new economic and military aid for Ukraine Thursday as part of a stopgap extension of the federal budget into December.
The measure, agreed by senators of both parties, includes $3 billion for arms, supplies, and salaries for Ukraine’s military, and authorizes President Joe Biden to direct the US Defense Department to take $3.7 billion worth of its own weapons and materiel and send them to Ukraine.
It also provides $4.5 billion for Kyiv to keep the country’s finances stable and keep the government running, providing services to the Ukrainian people.
It comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to declare the annexation of parts of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops on Friday.
“Seven months since the conflict began, it’s crystal clear that American assistance has gone a long way to helping the Ukrainian people resist Putin’s evil, vicious aggression,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“But the fight is far from over, and we must, we must, continue helping the brave, valiant Ukrainian people.”
The Ukraine aid is part of a short-term extension of the federal budget, which is to expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30 without the parties in Congress having agreed to a full-year allocation for fiscal 2022-23.
The extension, or continuing resolution, will keep the government running into December, but it has to first be approved by the House of Representatives to avoid shutting down parts of the government on Monday.
Without a continuing resolution, some but not all government departments would remain shuttered on Monday and their workers would be furloughed without pay.
With just 40 days to go before the mid-term Congressional elections, both parties are sensitive to how a shutdown would appear to voters.
If passed in the House, the budget measure will fund the government through December 16, a time when, lawmakers hope, it will be easier to reach a compromise on the full-year budget without electoral politics hanging over their heads.
The temporary budget measure also included funds for Afghan refugees, heating allowances for low-income families in the coming winter, and aid for Jackson, Mississippi, caught in a serious water crisis.
The new allocation for Ukraine took to $65 billion the amount the US government has provided the country since the beginning of the year.