Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Monday to support the nation’s war effort against Russia and tout the extensive financial assistance packages provided by the United States.
The senior official’s mission comes one week after President Joe Biden walked the streets of Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in another surprise visit. Treasury Department spokeswoman Lily Adams said that Yellen visited the country to “discuss critical economic assistance and our efforts to hold Russia accountable for their illegal and brutal war.”
Yellen met with Zelensky to discuss sanctions against Russia from the United States and its allies, reforms meant to address rampant corruption in Ukraine, and a $9.9 billion assistance package intended to assist the operations of the nation’s government, according to the Treasury Department.
“Over the past year, Ukraine has been writing the next chapter of its history with its heroic fight for freedom. Today, I am witnessing firsthand the devastating toll of Putin’s brutal war,” Yellen remarked during a wreath-laying ceremony in Kyiv. “We have pledged to do our part to support the Ukrainian people, not only with words, but with actions. We will continue to work with our international coalition to provide military, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. And we will continue to impose severe costs on the Kremlin for its illegal war. As President Biden has said, we will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
The Biden administration has so far sent Ukraine more than $24.2 billion in military assistance over the past year, according to a report from the Defense Department. The federal government has also provided $9.9 billion in humanitarian aid and $15.1 billion in budgetary aid, according to an analysis from the Council on Foreign Relations, a sum that far surpasses the assistance offered by European Union institutions and member states.
The United States allocated more than $113 billion in combined humanitarian and military assistance for Ukraine last year, according to another analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Yellen contended in an opinion piece for the New York Times corresponding with her visit that assistance from the United States is “crucial” to the Ukrainian war effort.
“We’re proud to be Ukraine’s largest bilateral donor, and just as proud to be joined by an international coalition of supporters, including the European Union and other members of the Group of 7,” she wrote. “Our assistance has received broad bipartisan backing, and we’ve made sure to deploy these funds with accountability and transparency.”
Some lawmakers have questioned the White House’s emphasis on the Ukraine conflict amid a host of domestic challenges, including record inflation and a national debt that recently surpassed $31.5 trillion. Biden was recently criticized for his own clandestine journey to the eastern European nation, which came ahead of his announcement that he would not visit East Palestine, Ohio, where residents are struggling in the wake of a train derailment and subsequent chemical fallout.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE DAILY WIRE APP
Private companies in the United States, including asset management company BlackRock and investment bank JPMorgan Chase, have meanwhile sought to coordinate reconstruction funds for Ukraine. “We are proud of our long-standing support of Ukraine and committed to doing our part to lift up the country and its people,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said earlier this month, adding that the company’s “full resources” are available to the nation.