Ukraine’s debt relief is included in the US defense bill approved by the House of Representatives

On Thursday, Congress took a step toward Allowing Ukraine to delay payments On the hundreds of billions of dollars that it borrowed from the United States, European countries and other parts of the world.

The The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).) for fiscal year 2023 passed the House of Representatives Thursday afternoon in a vote of 350-80. This 4,400-page bill includes a section on “Ukrainian debt relief”.

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A bill approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday requires the United States to begin seeking debt relief agreements for Ukraine, as President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to defend his country against Russia. (Photo by DAMIR SENCAR/POOL/AFP) (Photo by DAMIR SENCAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by DAMIR SENCAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

This section states that the US Secretary of the Treasury will direct US representatives of international financial institutions to “use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to advocate that the relevant institution promptly provide appropriate debt service relief to Ukraine.”

It directs the Treasury Department to begin “immediate efforts” with other governments and commercial creditors “to pursue comprehensive debt relief for Ukraine.”

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Representative Adam Smith, D-Washington, chairs the House Armed Services Committee, which has negotiated a defense policy bill that includes language related to Ukraine.

Representative Adam Smith, D-Washington, chairs the House Armed Services Committee, which has negotiated a defense policy bill that includes language related to Ukraine.

The language is only about debt relief, not aid relief given to Ukraine this year Defend itself from the Russian invasion.

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The United States is by far the largest contributor of aid to Ukraine, in the form of weapons, equipment, logistical support, training and other assistance to the war-torn country. The United States has also provided billions of dollars in economic support to Ukraine, enough to account for the majority of Ukraine’s annual budget.

A bill passed earlier this year gave Ukraine $4.5 billion to allow Ukraine to “maintain macroeconomic stability and provide basic services to citizens”.

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will be tasked with seeking debt relief payments for Ukraine from lenders under the House Act.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will be tasked with seeking debt relief payments for Ukraine from lenders under the House Act.
(CBS/screenshot)

Last month, the Biden administration asked Congress for another $37.7 billion in support for Ukraine. If passed, Congress would have approved more than $100 billion in Ukraine-related spending, though not all of that money is going to Ukraine — billions of it, for example, is being used to replenish America’s weapons stockpile.

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However, any international plan to forgive Ukraine’s debt payments or eventual debt relief would affect the United States more than any other country.

The legislation approved by the House of Representatives includes several other provisions related to Ukraine, including an extension of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine through 2023, a joint U.S.-Ukraine military trauma sponsorship and research agreement, and ongoing short- and medium-term aid to the country.

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