President Joe Biden called on Congress in a speech Thursday to swiftly pass a measure giving $33 billion in additional emergency support to Ukraine to defend against Russian forces, a signal that the president is making a serious commitment to oppose Moscow's military designs.
Biden has already given billions to the Ukraine war effort, but he said a few days ago that the funds are quickly running out.
In his remarks Thursday, the president stressed the importance of U.S. aid in repelling Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion.
"We need this bill to support Ukraine's fight for freedom," he said. "We either back the Ukrainian people as they defend their country, or we stand by as Russians continue their aggression and atrocities in Ukraine."
He added that although the Kremlin continues to put out "disturbing rhetoric," the United States will not respond in kind to Moscow.
"We're helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression," Biden said. "As long as the assaults continue, we will continue to provide assistance."
Biden urged Congress to pass a bill allowing the government to seize and forfeit assets and property linked to wealthy Russian oligarchs and using those proceeds to support Ukraine. The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution asking for the same thing.
President Biden will send a proposal for a comprehensive legislative package that will enhance the United States government's authority to hold the Russian government and Russian oligarchs accountable for President Putin's war," the White House said in a statement earlier Thursday.
The new call comes after Biden pledged an additional $1.3 billion in aid for Ukraine last week, which includes military, economic and humanitarian assistance. At the time, he said that further aid beyond that would have to come from Congress. Biden's government has already provided Ukraine with more than $3 billion since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24.
The new efforts announced Thursday include greater ability to seize Russian assets, transfer some of those assets to Ukraine, tightening sanctions and expanding prosecution powers.
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