It’s now been three months since the war started, and US President Joe Biden said that “caving” into Russia isn’t an option for the West. He offered Ukraine a $33 billion package to help them an arm and fight back.
During a speech at the White House, Vice President Joe Biden also talked about new regulations that could let Russia’s wealthy oligarchs use luxury assets that were seized by the U.S. because of sanctions. These assets could be used to compensate Ukraine for the damage the invaders caused.
He understood the high cost of US support for Ukraine, but in the fight against Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said there was no other option.
He revealed that this “battle does not come cheap.” However, if we allow violence to win, we will pay a higher price.
Biden said that the US has already sent 10 tank-killing weapons for every Russian tank that has come into Ukraine. This shows how much help the US has given to Ukraine, which has been badly beaten by the bigger and more powerful Russian forces.
He did, however, fight back against Russian officials and state media claims that Moscow is attacking the whole Western world, not just Ukraine.
“We are not attacking Russia,” Vice President Biden said. We are helping Ukraine fight back against Russian threats.
Biden warned that no one should make idle comments about the use of nuclear weapons or the potential of them being used, calling talk in Moscow about the risk of nuclear attack a symptom of “desperation.” It’s completely irresponsible.
Biden stated that the US was working to ensure that Europe had enough energy after Gazprom announced that it would cut supplies to NATO and EU members Bulgaria and Poland.
The US will not allow Russia to coerce or intimidate its way out of these sanctions. To prevent consequences for their aggressiveness, the US will not let them use its oil and gas.
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Military and other security support will account for the majority of the planned $33 billion packages. A senior US official told reporters that this means weapons and ammunition are flowing to the Ukrainian people.
Another $8.5 billion in economic aid will help the Ukrainian government deal with the immediate crisis, the official said. Another $3 billion will be used to help people in need and deal with the rise in food prices caused by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which is a major wheat exporter.
The proposed package also includes money to help deal with economic problems in the US and around the world, such as how food supplies might be affected and how important parts needed for high-tech manufacturing might be hard to get.
Both Republicans and Biden’s Democratic Party want to keep supporting Ukraine, but there is a disagreement over Biden’s request for a $22.5 billion COVID pandemic fund that could slow down the process.
Taking on oligarchs
Washington is leading a sanctions campaign that is aimed at separating Russia from the rest of the world and putting pressure on President Putin. In the beginning, Western military aid came mostly in the form of defensive infantry weapons. Now, it also includes heavy artillery and armed drones.
Biden said that he wanted to step up the pressure on Putin’s billionaire inner circle by allowing the oligarchs’ assets to be sold off to repair the harm Russia did and help build Ukraine.
According to the White House, European Union allies have frozen more than $30 billion in Russian assets, including about $7 billion in oligarchs’ luxury items such as yachts, art, real estate, and helicopters.
According to the statement, the US has sanctioned and barred boats and planes worth over $1 billion, as well as frozen hundreds of millions of dollars in assets held by Russian elites in US accounts. The Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s $90 million superyachts were one of the most recent things to be seized by the police.
Biden’s legislative plan would also increase the legal restrictions on oligarchs who try to hide their wealth.
One option is to allow property used to escape sanctions to be seized. Another option is for US prosecutors to use anti-racketeering laws to prosecute people who try to evade sanctions. They could do this by increasing the time they have to pursue money laundering investigations from five to ten years and by applying anti-racketeering laws to sanctions evasion.