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Biden Proposes $33 Billion Package for Ukraine, Laws To Target Russian Oligarchs

While Biden admitted dramatic costs involved in helping Ukraine, he stated that caving into Russia was not a choice.

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2 min read
Biden Proposes $33 Billion Package for Ukraine, Laws To Target Russian Oligarchs
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As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its third month, United States (US) President Joe Biden on Thursday, 28 April, announced a whopping $33 billion package for supporting the war-hit east European nation, with arms, humanitarian and other aids, reported AFP.

Addressing the White House, Biden also spoke about proposed new laws that will allow the selling of Russian oligarchs' assets to "remedy the harm" caused by Russia and to support Ukraine.

While the President admitted the "dramatic costs" involved in helping Ukraine, he stated that "caving" in to Russia was not a choice for the West.

"The cost of this fight is not cheap. But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen," he reportedly said.

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Talking about the scale of assistance provided by the US to Ukraine, Biden also said that his country has already sent 10 tank-killing weapons for every Russian tank deployed in the warn-torn Ukraine.

Of the $33 billion package, almost $20 billion will be set aside for providing military and other security assistance to Ukraine, while $8.5 billion would be offered as economic aid for the country to deal with the immediate crisis and another $3 billion will be provided to support humanitarian needs and to address global food supply price shock, a senior US official said while speaking to reporters.

The package will also help in mitigating economic disruptions that have come up in the US and other countries due to the war.

The proposal, however, can be sanctioned only if the Congress approves it. Although Biden and Republicans have given their go-ahead, the US president's request for an unrelated $22.5 billion COVID-19 pandemic package threatens to complicate the approval, reported AFP.

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Target on Russian Oligarchs

In an effort to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden also announced proposal to target Putin's innermost circle. The proposal will reportedly enhance the seizures and forfeiture procedures against oligarchs, allowing their assets to be sold off to provide remedy to Ukraine.

In a statement, the White House said that so far the European Union allies have frozen over $30 billion Russian assets. Of the $30 billion, $7 billion assets of Russian oligarchs, including luxury goods, yachts, arts, real estate, and helicopters were seized.

The US has "sanctioned and blocked vessels and aircraft worth over $1 billion, as well as frozen hundreds of millions of dollars of assets belonging to Russian elites in US accounts," the statement noted.

The package proposed by Biden would also reportedly tighten legal squeeze on oligarchs, who try to hide their funds. It will also allow seizure of properties used for evading sanctions.

(With inputs from AFP.)

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