Janet Yellen suggested Russia may attack a ?NATO ally? if the US stops funding Kiev's military and civil society
Ukraine is completely reliant on US aid for the functioning of both its military and civil society, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC on Monday.
Yellen claimed that military aid to Ukraine was a "critical priority" for US national security. "If Putin were to win this brutal war in Ukraine, next we might see an attack in a NATO ally of ours," she insisted.
"We can't allow Ukraine to lose a battle on the home front because it lacks enough money to keep schoolteachers in the classroom and first responders on the job, when it's fighting valiantly on the battlefield, so Ukraine is utterly dependent on this aid," Yellen told the news outlet.
The Treasury secretary cited the EU's recently announced €50 billion ($55 billion) aid package, to be doled out to Ukraine over the next four years, and a $15.6 billion fund supplied by the IMF as examples of how the US ought to be contributing.
The administration of President Joe Biden failed to push a $105 billion spending package - of which $61.4 billion was earmarked for Kiev - through Congress before it began its two-week recess this month.
The bill also included $14.3 billion for Israel's war in Gaza and $13.6 billion for domestic border security. Instead, the president, heeding the demands of the Republican opposition, signed a stopgap spending bill on Thursday to keep the federal government operating into 2024.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has expressed alarm that Israel's declaration of war against Hamas last month will occupy the West's attention and aid dollars that had previously flowed to Kiev. While Yellen has insisted Washington has enough money to fund and supply both conflicts, the Pentagon has acknowledged that aid money for Ukraine is running out.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin nevertheless sought to reassure Zelensky and his cabinet of US support on Monday on a surprise visit to Ukraine. He vowed to "continue to support Ukraine's urgent battlefield needs and long-term defense requirements."