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Tags: ukraine | russia | israel | biden administration | antony blinken | lloyd austin | funding

Blinken, Austin: Separate Ukraine Aid From Israel and Putin Wins

By    |   Tuesday, 31 October 2023 09:39 PM EDT

If Congress separates aid for Ukraine from aid for Israel, Russia's President Vladimir Putin will win his war against the neighboring country it invaded in February 2022, the leaders of the Pentagon and State Department testified Tuesday.

During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urged senators to approve the Biden administration's $106 billion supplemental request for Israel, Ukraine, and the Indo-Pacific, The Hill reported.

They warned that if lawmakers approve funding for Israel but not Ukraine, it will give an advantage to Putin, and without continued U.S. funding for Ukraine, Russian forces would defeat Kyiv, with wider consequences for the globe.

But, House Republicans skeptical of additional Ukraine aid have threatened to sink the plan, and Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is pushing an Israel-only package that would also cut billions in funding for the Internal Revenue Service.

"It's hard to put an exact timeline on how long it would take," Austin said when asked to put a timeline on how long it would take Russia to defeat Ukraine without the aid.

"I can guarantee you that without our support, Putin will be successful," Austin said. "If we pull the rug out from under them now, Putin will only get stronger, and he will be successful in doing what he wants to do in acquiring his neighbor's sovereign territory."

Blinken added that "it would do both terrible harm to our values, but also to our core interests" to cut Ukrainian aid.

"There is no doubt in my mind that if Putin is allowed to continue to act with impunity, that not only would he not stop at Ukraine and potentially go to a NATO country next … it would send a message to would-be aggressors everywhere in the world, that, 'If he can get away with it, so can we,' and then we're likely to have a world full of conflict," Blinken said.

"We are much better sustaining our effort now, seeing this to success, than having to pay a much higher price later when we have to deal with a world full of aggression."

Washington is by far the biggest donor of military aid to Ukraine, committing some $43.9 billion since Russian forces invaded in February 2022 — assistance that has helped Kyiv regain ground seized by Moscow.

But opposition from hard-line Republican lawmakers has put future assistance for Kyiv in doubt, and the U.S. government has had to rely on previously approved aid in the absence of new funding from Congress.

Blinken said a halt to U.S. aid for Ukraine could encourage other countries to follow suit.

"This is an instance where we've seen very significant burden-sharing that would almost certainly go away if we go away," he said.

"The message it would send ... to each and every one of these countries is that the United States is abandoning ship — well, we may as well do, too."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.

Jack Gournell

Jack Gournell, a Newsmax general assignment writer and editor, covering news, politics, media, and culture. He has over 35 years of experience in journalism.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
If Congress separates aid for Ukraine from aid for Israel, Russia's President Vladimir Putin will win his war against the neighboring country it invaded in February 2022, the leaders of the Pentagon and State Department testified Tuesday.
ukraine, russia, israel, biden administration, antony blinken, lloyd austin, funding, aid
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2023-39-31
Tuesday, 31 October 2023 09:39 PM
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