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US official tells EU Biden is committed to Ukraine funding

The West cannot allow Ukraine to run out of money and the Biden administration will continue to support Kyiv, US Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen said on Wednesday (31 January) in a bid to reassure European officials at joint talks.

Her comments came as US funding for Kyiv is bogged down in negotiations amid demands by Republicans for sweeping changes to US border security policies.

“[US] Congress must act quickly to provide support to Ukraine, including through direct budget assistance,” Yellen said at a bilateral talks with EU executive vice presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis in Washington.

“Failure to act would hand a victory to President Putin and have unthinkable consequences not only for Ukraine but also for our collective security,” Yellen said.

“Simply put, we cannot allow Ukraine to run out of money before it runs out of ammunition,” she added.

Dombrovskis said the bloc was set to finalise a €50 billion Ukraine support package and suggested the US augment its monetary contributions to close Ukraine’s funding gap.

“It is important the US is advancing this work on financial support of Ukraine,” the Commission executive vice-president said.

At an event later in the day, Yellen made clear the Biden administration would continue supporting Ukraine, adding additional Ukraine aid would ‘not be charity’, but an “investment in the national security of the United States and the security of Europe”.

Yellen said aid would be given on the condition of Ukraine making reforms.