21 May 2024, Tuesday, 16:37
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Johnson's Project: Will Ukraine Get Long-Awaited ATACMS

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Johnson's Project: Will Ukraine Get Long-Awaited ATACMS

The political scientist spoke about the features of the project on voting in the U.S. Congress.

On Saturday, the U.S. Congress will vote on assistance to Ukraine. Speaker of the House of Representatives of the US Congress Mike Johnson presented his project.

What are its features? Will Congress adopt it? The Charter97.org website spoke about this with Petro Oleshchuk, a Ukrainian political scientist and professor at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv:

— The previously published and adopted in the U.S. Senate bill was changed. The changes are not as global as many expected. First, there is aid to Ukraine to receive weapons from the United States in various formats. There are several programs. Some of them are programs for the provision of weapons to Ukraine from the Pentagon fund. Another part is the registration of orders for Ukraine to receive weapons from American manufacturers.

All these programs are preserved and, as far as I understand, the funds will go in the form of grants. Financial assistance for Ukraine, which was contained in the draft law, is included in a separate norm. It will be provided as an interest-free loan.

— Is the provision of loans a problem for Kyiv?

— There are two provisions in the bill, which are that the U.S. president will be able to initiate the write-off of 50% of this loan after November 5 of this year. In 2026, the president will be able to initiate the write-off of the remaining 50%. This is a kind of compromise. The write-off of these funds will be decided by the new president, whoever he is. This is direct financial assistance for the Ukrainian budget.

I will say that I have not yet seen the provisions from the 4th draft law. On the one hand, the bill on assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan is divided into three separate bills for these countries. But at the same time, the fourth, separate bill is added to them, for which they will still vote in the package. In this 4th bill, there are, in particular, provisions related to the confiscation of Russian assets in the United States, and their use to help Ukraine.

In general, the announced regulations are looking quite acceptable to themselves and those that can be adopted. Ultimately, all parties and congressional committees, as well as the US President, supported this bill, which significantly increased the chances of its adoption and enactment.

— The project also mentions ATACMS missiles. There is a clause that the U.S. president will have to hand them over, unless it threatens the country's security. Do you think Biden will be forced to give the missiles to Kyiv if the project is adopted?

— At the Pentagon level, it has long been said that such options are being considered. Again, earlier there was information that the ATACMS missiles were transferred to Ukraine, but a slightly different modification. There have already been precedents. Ultimately, I think it will come to that, too, but it is difficult to say when.

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