On Saturday, the US House of Representatives approved a $61 billion aid package with a bipartisan majority, which also includes arms sales to defend Ukraine against Russia. The necessary approval from the Senate is expected in the middle of the week. The decision is considered safe. President Biden then still has to sign the law.

What does the announced aid mean for the course of the war and how quickly could long-range missile systems actually be used? Answers to the most important questions.

The House bill states that President Biden should make long-range ATACMS missile systems available as soon as possible. The Chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the US Senate, Mark Warner, also gave indications of a delivery from ATACMS in an interview with the US broadcaster CBS.

So far, the USA has delivered missile systems with a shorter range of 165 kilometers. Ukraine wants ATACMS that have a range of 300 kilometers.

In an interview with US broadcaster CBS, Warner continued to express the hope that the arms deliveries could be on the way by the end of the week if Joe Biden signs the law. The USA has had weapons supplies for Ukraine for months. However, these have not yet been delivered because the Ministry of Defense has run out of money. The ministry had already used up all the funding that the US Congress had approved to support Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged that promised military aid be delivered quickly. Zelensky told the US broadcaster NBC: “We want to move things forward as quickly as possible so that we can provide the soldiers at the front with tangible help as quickly as possible. Not in six months.” In this context, the Ukrainian President once again recalled the promised delivery of F-16 fighter jets. “A year has passed. And we still don’t have the jets in Ukraine.”

Olaf Scholz was also pleased with the message from Washington. “We very much hope that there will be a decision from the Senate soon so that this help from the USA is secured for the future.”

Ukraine is drawing new hope in its fight against the Russian invasion after receiving billions of dollars in support from the United States. Volodymyr Zelenskyj was confident after the announcement from Washington: “We now have the chance to stabilize the situation and take the initiative,” he told the US broadcaster NBC.

However, there is also criticism from Ukraine, including from expert Alexij Haran. Although one would be happy that the aid has now been approved, it would have been too late and not big enough, said the professor of comparative politics at the National University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy.

Matthew Savill, director of military science at the Royal United Services Institute think tank, said the U.S. aid would help “stabilize Ukraine’s position this year and kick-start preparations for operations in 2025.” Additional funds will be needed for the year after the upcoming US presidential election.

Military expert Claudia Major from the Science and Politics Foundation in Berlin argues similarly. She told ZDF that thanks to US aid, Ukraine would be free of its most pressing concerns about ammunition shortages and air defense. “Ukraine and the European states have gained about a year of time to think about how they want to provide long-term support politically, militarily and financially,” said the political scientist.

Sources: Tagesschau, ZDF, with material from DPA and AFP