He cautioned that, much like the previous year, Russia is directing its focus toward critical infrastructure in Ukraine, transforming the winter cold into a tool against civilians. Urging immediate action, Kirby stressed the importance of bolstering Ukrainian air defense and called upon the US Congress to swiftly approve a new assistance package for Ukraine.
Earlier warnings from the White House indicated that US aid for Ukraine is set to conclude by year-end. President Joe Biden is slated to propose a final military aid package in December, but the continuation of support depends on a Congressional consensus with uncertain prospects.
A recent $60 billion Ukraine aid bill faced resistance from Senate Republicans, who linked it to immigration control at the US-Mexico border. Ongoing negotiations in the Senate aim to craft a comprehensive agreement covering aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, along with strengthened border measures. A select group of lawmakers from both parties, along with representatives from the Biden administration, is working to finalize an agreement.
Although the US Senate had initially scheduled its last session day for the year on December 14, the timetable was adjusted to allow for additional negotiation time. While the House of Representatives concluded its session for the year, there remains the possibility of reconvening for a vote if an agreement is reached.