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Biden Signs $40B for Ukraine Aid       05/21 08:53

   President Biden on Saturday signed legislation to support Ukraine with an 
additional $40 billion in U.S. assistance as the Russian invasion approaches 
its fourth month.

   SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- President Biden on Saturday signed legislation to 
support Ukraine with an additional $40 billion in U.S. assistance as the 
Russian invasion approaches its fourth month.

   The legislation, which was passed by Congress with bipartisan support, 
deepens the U.S. commitment to Ukraine at a time of uncertainty about the war's 
future. Ukraine has successfully defended Kyiv, and Russia has refocused its 
offensive on the country's east, but American officials warn of the potential 
for a prolonged conflict.

   The funding is intended to support Ukraine through September, and it dwarfs 
an earlier emergency measure that provided $13.6 billion.

   The new legislation will provide $20 billion in military assistance, 
ensuring a steady stream of advanced weapons that have been used to blunt 
Russia's advances. There's also $8 billion in general economic support, $5 
billion to address global food shortages that could result from the collapse of 
Ukrainian agriculture and more than $1 billion to help refugees.

   Biden signed the measure under unusual circumstances. Because he's in the 
middle of a trip to Asia, a U.S. official brought the bill on a commercial 
flight to Seoul for the president to sign, according to a White House official.

   The logistics reflect a sense of urgency around continuing U.S. support for 
Ukraine, but also the overlapping international challenges facing Biden. Even 
as he tries to reorient American foreign policy to confront China, he's 
continuing to direct resources to the largest conflict in Europe since World 
War II.

   Biden also signed an unrelated measure, one intended to increase access to 
baby formula at a time when supplies remain scarce in the United States. The 
legislation will allow government benefits from the Special Supplemental 
Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children -- better known as WIC -- to 
be used to buy more types of infant formula.

 
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