US Congress does not expect Johnson to block aid to Ukraine – Herbst

October 27,2023 1094
US Congress does not expect Johnson to block aid to Ukraine – Herbst

The US Congress “has an understanding” that the newly elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, will not block aid to Ukraine. However, the Republican insists on careful control of aid to Kyiv, according to John Herbst, former US Ambassador to Ukraine.

Johnson worked closely with former US President Donald Trump and did not always support the provision of new aid packages to Ukraine. However, the Republican is an expert on US security and the US defense budget, Herbst explained.

“It is important that Congresswoman Elise Stefanik from New York, who votes for those who understand Russia’s danger to the United States and supports aid to Ukraine, spoke highly of him. Therefore, I think that Congress has a certain understanding that it will not block aid to Ukraine,” Herbst explained.

Herbst perceives the statements of the newly elected speaker as encouraging, although he adds that there is no absolute certainty. “Johnson talks about closer supervision of our aid. I think that everyone will be satisfied with his proposals, including the government of Ukraine. If he proposes to cut any aid, it will be a problem. So we have to wait a little and we will see. But I take his words as encouraging. Although, again, we cannot be sure of this,” Herbst emphasized.

The US ambassador to Ukraine said that the US$106 billion package to support Ukraine and Israel, which Biden proposed, has significant support in Congress and the president’s administration. Herbst believes that 60% of Americans support another aid to Ukraine.

“I think the Hamas attack on Israel reminds everyone in the United States that we actually have many enemies. So I think that now in Ukraine there is a good chance this package will be supported. However, a lot depends on Speaker Mike Johnson,” the former US ambassador to Ukraine said.

On October 25, the US House of Representatives elected a new speaker – the representative of the Republican majority, Mike Johnson. Mike Johnson is a well-known supporter of the ex-president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, and is also considered a supporter of far-right views. Immediately after the full-scale Russian invasion, Johnson supported Ukraine. However, later, Johnson’s position changed. He voted against two bills that provided aid to Ukraine – one in 2022 and another in September.