May 6, 2022 - World

Biden authorizes additional $150 million in military assistance to Ukraine

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Joe Biden authorized an additional $150 million in military assistance to Ukraine on Friday, pulling from his dwindling drawdown authority, the State Department confirmed.

Driving the news: As Biden has nearly exhausted these funds, he also called on Congress to pass his $33 billion request for humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine.

  • Through the Presidential Drawdown Authority, the president can authorize the transfer of items from U.S. stocks without congressional approval due to an unforeseen emergency, according to the Congressional Research Service.
  • Since the start of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. has sent about $3.8 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, according to the State Department.

What they're saying: "The United States has provided a historic amount of security assistance to Ukraine at rapid speed," Biden said in a statement on Friday.

  • "With today’s announcement, my Administration has nearly exhausted funding that can be used to send security assistance through drawdown authorities for Ukraine," Biden added. " ... Congress should quickly provide the requested funding to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table."
  • "We will continue to provide Ukraine the arms its forces are effectively using to defend their country and the freedom of their fellow citizens," U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken also said. "In addition to military assistance, we also continue to provide direct U.S. financial support to Ukraine, support for documenting evidence of Russia’s atrocities against Ukraine’s civilians, and measures to continue ratcheting up the pressure on Putin’s crumbling economy." 
Go deeper