US President Joe Biden signed the landmark Ukraine Lend-Lease Act that will streamline the lengthy process of supplying Ukraine with military equipment needed to fight Russia.
“I am signing a bill that provides another important tool that directly supports the government of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people and their fight to defend their country and their democracy against Putin’s brutal war,” Biden said from the Oval Office.
The new initiative is largely symbolic, but it comes as Congress prepares to release more resources of $33 billion or more to fight the war. This is all in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who used Victory Day, the anniversary of Germany’s unconditional surrender and Russia’s most important patriotic holiday, to mobilize his people for the invasion.
Before signing the bill, Biden said “Putin’s war” was “once again bringing with it the deliberate destruction of Europe,” referencing the importance of the day.
Despite their differences over Biden’s position and his perceived mistakes in confronting Russia, members of the House and Senate have displayed unusual bipartisan unity on Ukraine. . Other measures have also had wide support, including calls to investigate Putin for war crimes.
“I want to thank the congressmen for passing this law. This is an extremely important help for Ukraine. Every day, Ukrainians pay with their lives for what is happening. It is impossible to believe the atrocities that the Russian side is committing. These steps are costly for us, but hiding from aggression is more costly,” the US president said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his gratitude to Washington for its support in the fight for our freedom and our future. The Ukrainian head of state called the signing of the Lend-lease act a historic step.
The United States revived the program for the first time since World War II, last operating in March 1941, allowing it to rapidly resupply Allies in the fight against Nazi Germany without time-consuming procedural hurdles.
The modern lend-lease act agreement will complement previous congressional support for Ukraine, which has already received $1.7 million in authorized military aid since Russia launched its full-scale invasion on February 24.
According to the approved program, Biden must ensure that deliveries of urgently needed weapons systems, ammunition and other forms of military assistance to Ukraine arrive quickly and without hindrance.
Conversely, if the administration lends or leases equipment at a lower cost under the Act, there will be a reduction in deposits that would otherwise have been charged under its existing authorities.
Lend-Lease has been used before during World War II. At the time, a total of $50.1 billion, equivalent to $690 billion in 2020, was supplied. In total, $31.4 billion went to the United Kingdom, $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.
After the signing of the law by Biden, the United States will be able to supply Ukraine as quickly as possible and in unlimited quantities not only with weapons, ammunition and equipment but also with medicines, food and in general everything that the Ukrainian army can need to effectively resist Russian aggression, finally defeat Russia and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.