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Blunt on Getting Additional Aid to Ukraine: “The Number One Element Is Speed”

May 10, 2022

WASHINGTON – At the weekly Republican leadership press conference today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) discussed the latest on Congress’s negotiations on an additional aid package for Ukraine. Blunt also stressed the importance of providing non-military aid to Ukraine to help alleviate disruptions in agriculture production caused by Putin’s invasion.

Following are Blunt’s Remarks:

“Well, we did talk about the elements of the Ukraine aid package—the survival package, frankly—for Ukraine today. The number one element is speed.

“The Ukrainians need what they need as quickly as we can get them what they need. But we also talked with the ambassador about the direct aid to their government. And, I was very satisfied with her explanation of how they dealt with that first billion dollars of aid. Got it through the—put it in and got it through the IMF, prepared to give all of the information anybody would like to see as how that aid is used.

“Obviously, they've not only got extraordinary expenses, but they don't have much money coming in. The tax collection system in a situation like this doesn't work well at all.

“And the other thing we talked about was food. Something I mentioned here last week, but something Ambassador Beasley, who runs the World Food [Programme], talked about. And our sense that that needs to be an important and a specific part of the non-military aid package, so we can prevent the kind of chaos that's going to occur if we don't begin to help Ukraine get its food out of the country, get its food planted for this year, and understand that there are going to be consequences no matter what happens, from ports that don't work and a country that provides so much of the food in the world not able to provide that food.”

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