(Headline USA) With President Joe Biden having already announced $800 million in new millitary aid to Ukraine, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday announced an additional $500 million to help the beleaguered country sustain salaries, pensions and other government programs.
“We plan to deploy this direct aid to Ukraine as soon as possible, to be used on the most urgent needs,” Yellen said Thursday. “We know this is only the beginning of what Ukraine will need to rebuild.”
US involvement in the country’s war with Russia now appears poised to be another endless quagmire overseas, even as Americans deal with crippling inflation—projected by some to be as high as 30%—largely due to the fiscal recklessness of elected leaders.
Yellen, a former Federal Reserve chair, spent much of last year denying the skyrocketing inflation and claiming that it was merely “transitory.”
The latest federal spending spree comes on top of $500 million in economic aid that President Joe Biden unveiled in March, pushing the total, thus far, in announced aid close to $4 billion.
The US also has acknowledged that the CIA has been conducting covert training operations with the Ukrainian military, at costs unknown to the general public.
Ukraine is notorous for being a hotbed of corruption and found itself at the center of a 2019 impeachment controversy as congressional Democrats tried to fault Trump for demanding that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy re-open a probe into the Burisma natural gas company, which paid Hunter Biden an estimated million dollars annually to sit on its board.
While vice president during the Obama administration, Joe Biden threatened to withdraw a billion-dollar loan guarantee if the country did not shutter the probe.
The country also has been linked to the previous Russia-collusion hoax, for which a George Soros-supported “anti-corruption” agency in Ukraine allegedly spread false information about the relationship between Trump campaign advisors and Russian oligarchs.
Some have further speculated that the country, in which the US may be helping conduct bioweapons experiments, has been a vast money-laundering operation for Democrats and globalists.
Yellen met before Thursday’s announcement with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, along with Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo and Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko.
The announcement comes against the backdrop of International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings dominated by conversations over how to manage the spillover from Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The Treasury Department imposed a new wave of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday. Included in the sanctions packages are penalties imposed on more than 40 people and entities accused of evading sanctions.
Yellen said Thursday that the U.S. was continuing to “tighten the vise of our economic pressure campaign.”
She responded cautiously to a question about whether European allies needed to ban Russian oil and gas imports, a recurring issue during the war in Ukraine which has undermined the US boycott even as it drives up US gas prices.
“Europe clearly needs to reduce its dependence on Russia in respect to energy. But we need to be careful,” Yellen said, pointing out there would be a resulting rise in oil prices worldwide.
Under that situation, she claimed, Russia could still benefit financially even if its sales in Europe declined.
It was revealed earlier in the week that Biden planned to send some of the US strategic petroleum reserves—its emergency supply—to Europe, even after enacting Draconian energy policies that undermined the energy indepenedence of his predecessor.
On Wednesday, Yellen and Ukraine’s finance minister walked out of a Group of 20 meeting as Russia’s representative started talking.
Several other finance ministers and central bank governors also left the room, according an official familiar with the meetings, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event was not public.
Some ministers and central bank governors who attended the meeting virtually turned their cameras off when Russian President Vladimir Putin’s representative spoke, the person said.
“It simply cannot be business as usual for Russia in terms of its participation in our global forums,” Yellen said.
Yellen was noncommittal, though, on proposals to remove Russia from the G-20, which is made up of representatives of industrial and emerging-market nations.
“We will look for a way to make our disapproval known while still recognizing we have a lot of work to accomplish,” she said.
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group spring meetings occur every year, with finance leaders convening to tackle the world’s most pressing issues.
Yellen said she was talking to her counterparts about ensuring adequate food supplies around the globe and preparing for the possibility of new pandemics in the future.
“COVID-19,” she said, “will not be our last global health emergency.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press