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US House approves $45 billion military and economic aid package for Ukraine

Patriot missile defense system is seen at Sliac Airport, in Sliac, near Zvolen, Slovakia, May 6, 2022. (Reuters photo)

The US House of Representatives has approved a $45 billion military and economic aid package for Ukraine, deepening the US involvement in the war in defiance of repeated warnings by Russia.

The US House gave final approval of the aid package on Friday. The measure is part of a $1.66 trillion government funding bill that won Senate approval a day earlier, Reuters reported.

The bill will now go to US President Joe Biden for signing into law.

In a tweet thanking Congress and leaders of both parties, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was "crucial" that Americans are "side-by-side" with Ukrainians "in this struggle."

He warned his citizens that Russia could launch attacks over Christmas and urged them to heed air raid alarms.

"With the holiday season fast approaching, the Russian terrorists could again step up their activities," he said. "They have no regard for Christian values or any values for that matter."

The new US military and economic assistance would come atop some $50 billion aid to Ukraine this year.

Biden has said he expects American aid to Ukraine will continue without interruption despite opposition by Republicans, who are expected to use their new majority in the House of Representatives to monitor the flow of aid.

Russia has repeatedly warned that supplying Kiev with more and more weapons will only exacerbate the conflict, which is now in its ninth month.

Continuously flooding Ukraine with weapons "will only drag the conflict out and make it more painful for the Ukrainian side, but it will not change our goals and the end result," the Kremlin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said last month.

Peskov insisted that the US was in reality engaged in the Ukraine conflict. "The US de facto has become deeply involved," he said.

His remarks echoed those of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said that Washington had "been participating de facto in this war for a long time."

"This war is being controlled by the Anglo-Saxons," Lavrov said.

The US Congress has allocated a total of $65 billion in funding for Kiev since Russia began its military operation in Ukraine in late February, according to the report, which also noted that the Biden administration has not yet made a formal request for new funding.

American journalist and political commentator Don Debar has denounced the congressional approval of billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine, saying that the money is "stolen from the American people." 



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