Ex-US, NATO officials call on Congress to pass new Ukraine aid


© Reuters. The U.S. Capitol building is seen in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 40 former top U.S. and NATO diplomats and defense officials on Monday urged Congress to approve new aid for Ukraine, warning that losing its war with Russia would be disastrous for Ukraine and threaten the security of the United States and its allies.

THE TAKE

The former officials – members of an informal network dedicated to bolstering the NATO military alliance and European security called the Alphen Group – issued their call in an open letter to Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

CONTEXT

Senate Republicans earlier this month blocked an emergency spending bill containing $50 billion in new Ukraine aid, demanding tougher steps to control immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The White House says aid for Ukraine’s fight to retake territory occupied by Russian forces since the invasion of February 2022 will run out by year’s end. But talks on a compromise measure may extend into 2024. Any bill still would have to pass the House.

KEY QUOTES

“The United States and its allies must help Ukraine prevent Russia from winning a victory that would be disastrous for the people and the country of Ukraine and threatening the future security of the United States and its allies,” the Alphen Group letter said.

“This war is at a tipping point at which decisions made by the United States and its NATO allies and partners will determine whether the outcome is favorable to their interests or disastrous for Ukraine and the West.”

“Not continuing U.S. support for Ukraine would be a huge failure of bipartisan foreign and defense policy and would weaken American leadership internationally as well as in Europe.”

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