US Senate votes to resurrect World War II-era policy to help Ukraine amid Russian invasion

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The US Senate voted to resurrect the lend-lease program that enabled America to send weapons to Britain and other allies in World War II, in order to bolster Ukraine’s effort against the Russian invaders.

The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022, S.3522, passed the Senate by voice vote late Wednesday. The bill aims “to provide enhanced authority for the President to enter into agreements with the Government of Ukraine to lend or lease defense articles to that Government to protect civilian populations in Ukraine from Russian military invasion.”

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Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, said that he is “grateful to the US Senate for passing the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act.” He called it an “important first step towards a lend-lease program to expedite the delivery of military equipment to Ukraine. Looking forward to its swift passage in the House and signing by the US President.”

Photo of Ukraine President Zelenskyy and President Biden

Photo of Ukraine President Zelenskyy and President Biden
(AP/Office of the President of Ukraine)

The US used the lend-lease program in the early years of World War II in order to help Britain defend itself against the Nazis without officially declaring war or entering the conflict. This new measure echoes that balance.

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President Biden has repeatedly insisted that, while the US has imposed sanctions on Russia, the White House intends to avoid entering a direct conflict with Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Yerevan, Armenia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Yerevan, Armenia.
(Shutterstock)

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