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Biden to ask Congress for 'massive' new Ukraine aid package Thursday

Administration officials described the amount of the request as “massive” but would not provide a specific dollar amount for the aid, which is intended to last through September.
Ukrainian soldiers stand next to their armored personnel carrier
Ukrainian soldiers stand next to their armored personnel carrier in the Izyum district of the Kharkiv region on April 18.Anatolii Stepanov / AFP via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will request Congress fund a new supplemental aid package for Ukraine during remarks from the White House Thursday morning, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The extra funding is intended to last for the next five months, through the end of the fiscal year, the sources said.

Administration officials earlier described the amount of the request as “massive” but would not provide a specific dollar amount. Some details were still not finalized, the officials said.

The amount, however, is intended to fund U.S. military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine through Sept. 30, the officials said. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The extended assistance package for Ukraine comes as the Biden administration has said its goals in Ukraine are now to “weaken” Russia, as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin put it this week, and U.S. officials are increasingly open that the aim is for Ukraine to win the war against Russia.

The military aid is expected to include capabilities Ukraine could use now and equipment for the longer term.

The U.S. has provided Ukraine with more than $3 billion in military aid since Russia’s invasion. In announcing the most recent $800 million U.S. aid package last week, Biden said he had nearly run out of funding authorized by Congress for military aid and he would be submitting a new request this week.

After NBC News reported Wednesday that the request would be through the current fiscal year, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the announcement “will definitely be this week.”

“In terms of the length or the size, I don’t have a number for you at this point in time,” Psaki said, “but there are plans for this to be a proposal to go through the fiscal year, and it will include, as our past packages have included, security or military assistance, humanitarian economic assistance, given those in our view will help address a range of the needs the Ukrainians have.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday that he had spoken to the White House about the supplemental funding request and expected it would be made on Thursday.

“I believe we will get a very strong, broad-based request for Ukrainian aid tomorrow,” Schumer said.