Yellen calls Republican delays in approving Ukraine aid inexcusable

By Thomson Reuters Apr 17, 2024 | 2:51 PM

By Andrea Shalal and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday underscored the Biden administration’s commitment to provide Ukraine with the budgetary and military assistance it needs, while calling Republican delays in approving the aid inexcusable.

Yellen made the comments after meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko. Their meeting followed a Ukraine conference held on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings.

She said the officials discussed their shared priorities, including global financial support for Ukraine, Ukraine’s reform progress, and Russia’s obligation to pay for the damages of its war of aggression.

“Budgetary assistance from the United States is more critical than ever, as it is inextricably linked to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield and the government’s ability to deliver essential services to its people,” Yellen said.

She said Washington and its allies have provided significant support to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, with extensive controls and safeguards in place to ensure the money reached the right people and was being used appropriately.

Yellen hailed the U.S. Senate for passing additional funding for Ukraine on a bipartisan basis and said the failure of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to act so long “has been inexcusable and detrimental to our national security.”

“Every moment of delay by House Republicans strengthens (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and emboldens America’s adversaries around the world who are closely watching to see if …the United States, maintains its resolve to support a democratic Ukraine as it fends off an autocratic Russia,” she added.

Yellen lauded Ukrainian officials for maintaining economic stability and implementing ambitious reforms under what she called incredibly difficult circumstances.

She said Washington and its allies needed to remain vigilant to ensure that Russia was unable to acquire the goods and resources it needed to continue its war, and said the coalition would keep raising costs on Russia through sanctions, while working to clamp down on evasion networks around the world.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)