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Ukraine to ask USA to extend Lend-Lease Act for 2024

This is an auxiliary tool in case grant programmes run out.

Ukraine to ask USA to extend Lend-Lease Act for 2024
Oksana Markarova
Photo: Press service

Ukraine needs help from all its international partners. The United States is one of the few countries that gives Ukraine money on a grant basis, meaning that it does not have to be repaid, which is important for budget sustainability.

However, Ukraine also needs funds from the EU, Japan, and the International Monetary Fund, Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova has told the news telethon.

"We understand that we have a funding gap, which our partners are helping us to close," she said.

Markarova added that the government is working on several plans at once to obtain funding.

"The Cabinet of Ministers has a certain plan, if one source is delayed, another source can be accelerated. But we need all the sources for the whole year," she said.

The ambassador explained that the USA is now expected to approve an additional budget for Ukraine for the whole of 2024. This includes military, humanitarian, energy and direct budget support. Ukraine hopes that the decision will be made within the next two weeks.

In addition, work is underway to get specific weapons. The third track is sanctions, the fourth is the confiscation of Russian sovereign funds, and the fifth is the military budget, for which Ukraine requests an extension of the Lend-Lease Act to 2024.

"We want to get our four arms grant programmes, but even if we exhaust them earlier, it will be very good to have this tool as an auxiliary one," the diplomat added.

Why is Lend-Lease important?

- Ambassador Markarova explained in July 2022, even before the law on Lend-Lease came into force for Ukraine, that this is an additional tool that Ukraine will use more actively if necessary, when it sees that funds from other programmes are running out. In addition to this option, Ukraine can make additional requests to Congress (in fact, this is the path being taken now).

- On 1 October, the law on Lend-Lease came into force. It stipulates that Ukraine does not have to pay for the supply of weapons in advance. The US can provide Ukraine with any defensive weapons or equipment, including those necessary for their production, on lease or on a non-cash loan. This is a rather broad framework that can include not only aircraft, tanks, artillery, or helmets, but also the necessary equipment for defence production.

- In July 2023, Markarova said that Ukraine hoped that the United States would continue to provide free military assistance to Kyiv, but that the option of extending the Lend-Lease law was also being considered.

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