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US plans $40bn aid package for Ukraine

US Congressional Democrats have agreed to provide a further $39.8bn in additional aid for Ukraine, two sources familiar with the proposal told Reuters on Monday.

The House of Representatives could pass the plan, which exceeds president Joe Biden’s request last month for $33bn, as soon as Tuesday, and Senate leaders said they were also prepared to move quickly, the news agency reports.

Biden on 28 April asked Congress for $33bn to support Ukraine, including more than $20bn in military assistance.

The new proposal includes an additional $3.4bn for military aid and $3.4bn in humanitarian aid, the sources said.

A statement released by the White House read:

The need is also urgent: I have nearly exhausted the resources given to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to support Ukraine’s fighters. This aid has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further Congressional action. We are approximately ten days from hitting this critical deadline.”

Democrats and Republicans both reportedly said they supported more aid for Ukraine and would approve emergency funding quickly, but it was delayed by disputes between the parties over whether additional funding for Covid-19 relief or stiffer immigration controls should be included.

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