Written by Gisela Grieger.
Since Russia launched its unprovoked war against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the United States (US) has worked in lockstep with allies and partners, notably the European Union, its Member States and other G7 countries, towards a strong collective response. This has included several packages of economic sanctions against Russia aimed at severing the country from technologies and financial sources that fuel its war, and directly targeting the persons and entities involved. The US in cooperation with the EU has garnered support from a large majority of the international community to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a violation of the United Nations (UN) Charter, and has worked towards isolating Russia in multilateral fora, including within the G20, in defence of the US-led, rules-based international order. Moreover, the US has been at the forefront of multilateral actions to tackle the multiple adverse implications of Russia’s war of aggression both for Ukraine and the whole world, including food and energy insecurity.
The US has provided significant military, financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and its EU neighbours, while steering clear of engaging in direct confrontation with Russia. In January 2023, the US decided to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks, but no fighter jets. By 20 November 2022, the US had provided a total of almost US$48 billion in assistance to Ukraine. In December 2022, the 117th US Congress (2021‑2022) passed government spending legislation that appropriates an additional US$45 billion for Ukraine. By then, Congress had already appropriated a total of US$68 billion in support for Ukraine in three different packages. However, modifications to Congressional appropriations for Ukraine cannot be excluded, owing to the ongoing controversy over raising the US federal debt ceiling. Moreover, the December 2022 government spending legislation authorises for the first time US Department of Justice transfers of assets forfeited by Russian oligarchs to assist Ukraine. Recent polls consistently show a solid majority (65 %) of US respondents support US assistance to Ukraine. However, there is a significant partisan gap in the degree of support, with 47 % of Republicans stating the US spends too much, while only 10 % of Democrats say so.
This briefing complements an earlier ‘At a glance’ note by Matthew Parry and Marcin Szczepański.
Read the complete briefing on ‘Russia’s war against Ukraine: US support‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.