The sum was mentioned by the Ukrainian leader during an interview with CBS host Margaret Brennan for the ‘Face the Nation’ program, which was aired on Sunday.
Currently Kiev runs “a deficit of $5 billion in our budget,” Zelenksy said, adding that “the United States gives us $1.5 billion every month to support our budget to fight” against Russia.
Zelensky argued that arming and otherwise helping Ukraine militarily is a “win-win” for the US. He pledged that once Russia is defeated, the Ukrainian people will return to their home country and start paying taxes there, relieving the burden on American taxpayers.
“For the United States, it will be significant savings, but for us, it will be an opportunity to secure our territory and make it safe for our population,” he stated.
US President Joe Biden has pledged to help Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to secure a strategic defeat of Russia, which he declared Washington’s ultimate goal in the conflict.
Many Americans do not share the president’s view that the situation in Ukraine is crucial. According to the conservative election pollster Rasmussen Reports, it failed to make the top-ten list of issues of concern for likely voters.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration asked Congress to authorize some $12 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, including $4.5 billion to support the Kiev government financially beyond September. It asked for $2 billion on top of that, to help Ukraine offset rising energy prices.
The package is expected to be approved on Friday, but some political analysts question whether the cash flows to Ukraine can be sustained after the midterm elections in November.
“America can’t afford to provide a blank checkbook to Ukraine when we have inflation, gas prices, a supply chain crisis, all of the above, going on at home,” a GOP lawmaker told Politico, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “That’s what I’m hearing from my voters.”
The outlet predicted that if the Republican Party wins the House, Biden will face more resistance to his requests for emergency aid to Ukraine.