White House Holds Briefing on Ukraine Aid Package and Foreign Policy Updates

Biden signs $95.3B foreign aid package, including military aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as US sends long-range missiles to Kyiv, signaling strong support amid ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

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Rafia Tasleem
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White House Holds Briefing on Ukraine Aid Package and Foreign Policy Updates

White House Holds Briefing on Ukraine Aid Package and Foreign Policy Updates

On April 25, 2024, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan held a live briefing to provide key updates on the administration's policies and actions. The briefing took place aboard Air Force One as the officials were en route to Syracuse, New York.

During the briefing, President Joe Biden announced that he had signed a $95.3 billion foreign aid package passed by the House and Senate, which includes military aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. "The first tranche of military equipment would be sent to Ukraine within the next few hours," Biden said, calling it "a good day for world peace and freedom."

The aid package marks the end of a long battle with Republicans in Congress over urgently needed assistance for Ukraine. Biden immediately approved sending Ukraine $1 billion in military assistance, the first installment from about $61 billion allocated for Ukraine. The package includes air defense capabilities, artillery rounds, armored vehicles, and other weapons to support Ukrainian forces.

Sullivan confirmed reports that the U.S. secretly sent long-range ATACMS to Kyiv in March for Ukraine's defense against Russia. "This package is a way to show the U.S. stands with Ukraine in deed as well as in word," Sullivan said. When asked if this could provoke Russian aggression, Sullivan responded that Russia is being supplied with missiles by North Korea and since the U.S. has resolved its military readiness, it finds it appropriate to provide defense to Ukraine.

The briefing also covered developments related to the war in Ukraine. Ukraine came under attack from Russian aerial strikes overnight, hitting critical infrastructure in the central Cherkasy region. Two civilians were killed in a Ukrainian drone attack in the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia region. British Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt visited Kyiv and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, discussing sanctions policy and the UK's defense aid to Ukraine.

Why this matters: The substantial foreign aid package and the U.S. decision to provide long-range missiles to Ukraine signify a strong commitment to supporting Ukraine in its ongoing war against Russia. The developments underscore the complex geopolitical dynamics and the international community's efforts to address the conflict.

Senator Mike Lee spoke against the financial costs of the aid bills, while Majority Leader Chuck Schumer held a news conference after the Senate passed the national security supplemental. Speaker Mike Johnson also spoke briefly to reporters following a procedural vote to move forward on the aid. The bill includes provisions related to TikTok's parent company ByteDance and aid for Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. However, there are concerns that Russia may continue to make tactical gains in the weeks ahead, and it remains uncertain if Ukraine can sustain American political support before burning through the latest influx of money.

Key Takeaways

  • Biden signs $95.3B foreign aid package, including $61B for Ukraine.
  • U.S. to send Ukraine $1B in military aid, including air defense, artillery.
  • U.S. secretly sent long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine in March.
  • Ukraine attacked by Russian airstrikes, UK's Hunt visits Zelenskyy.
  • Concerns over Russia's tactical gains and Ukraine's political support.