06 April 2022
(Washington, DC) – US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation and Senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement following the Senate’s passage of bipartisan legislation aimed at giving the President increased power to more quickly enter into lend-lease agreements directly with Ukraine and countries in Europe from the East, and to expedite the delivery of the military equipment required by Ukraine to defend itself against the Russian military invasion. Shaheen introduced the Ukrainian Lend-Lease Law for the Defense of Democracy with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) in January. It will now be considered by the House of Representatives.
“As the war in Ukraine unfolds, providing military assistance as soon as possible is critical to Ukraine’s ability to defend against Putin’s unprovoked attacks. The Kremlin is carrying out horrific attacks across the country against civilian infrastructure and targeting innocent men, women and children. As the world witnesses the most serious threat to Europe’s security and our global stability since the Second World War, this legislation aimed at speeding up the process of moving military equipment to the front lines cannot be more urgent,” he added. said Shaheen. “I appreciate the bipartisan support to pass our legislation in the Senate and urge the House to quickly follow suit. As this crisis rapidly escalates and Putin descends on Ukraine, every minute counts.”
Under the authority of the Arms Export Controls Act, the President may currently loan and lease defense articles to U.S. partners and allies when doing so is in the national security interest of the United States. United. However, bureaucratic barriers and other limitations make these authorities impractical for the current crisis facing Ukraine.
This strengthened lend-lease authority would be specific to Ukraine and Eastern European countries to help remove barriers to arms lending. This would not create a new program, but would streamline the President’s current power to lend necessary defense articles to Ukraine and Eastern European countries and expedite the delivery of defense articles to Ukraine. . This increased authority would remain in effect until fiscal year 2023.
Senator Shaheen spearheaded action in the US Senate in support of Ukraine in response to Vladimir Putin’s belligerence, which also threatens the stability and security of Eastern Europe and NATO allies. Last month, Shaheen and members of the Senate Ukrainian Caucus met with Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova and members of Ukraine’s parliament. In February, Shaheen led a successful bipartisan effort with Portman to pass a resolution that conveys a renewed and overwhelmingly bipartisan message from the U.S. Senate of fierce support for Ukraine. Earlier this year, Shaheen and Portman led a bipartisan delegation to Ukraine, where they met with President Zelenskyy and members of his administration. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she supported the inclusion of $13.6 billion in security assistance as part of government funding legislation signed into law by President Biden.
Senator Shaheen has long led efforts in the Senate to hold Russia accountable for its malign activity against the United States and its allies. Due to her role as a negotiator on the Russian sanctions legislation known as “CAATSA” and her successful efforts to ban Kaspersky Lab software from running on US systems, Shaheen was sanctioned by the Kremlin in 2017. Prior to the Shaheen-Portman Congressional delegation’s visit to Ukraine in January, Shaheen led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, last June.