Apr 21, 2022
Biden announcing new military aid for Ukraine 4/21/22 Transcript
President Joe Biden is set to announce plans to send additional military aid to help Ukraine fight back against the Russian invasion 4/21/22. Read the transcript here.
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Joe Biden: (00:15)
Joe Biden: (00:15)
Joe Biden: (02:01)
Good morning everyone. Sorry to keep you waiting a little bit. I and the honor of spending some time with the Ukrainian prime minister who’s in town today, and he is meeting with some of my cabinet members, including the secretary of treasury and others. And we had a good discussion. I’ve talked about what I’m about to tell you about today, as well as he was thanking the American people for their support, understands it’s significant, and we talked about keeping everyone together in terms of Europe, European Union, and others in the effort to stop Putin’s brutality.
Joe Biden: (02:41)
But before I head out to the West Coast, I want to quickly update at the American people on the latest steps we’re taking to support the people of Ukraine and to hold Putin accountable for is brutal and bloody war.
Joe Biden: (02:54)
Russian forces have retreated from Kyiv, leaving behind them a horrifying evidence, and you’ve seen it, you reported it, and your folks… And by the way, I don’t say this often, but I think we should give enormous credit to the folks with your agencies that are on the ground in Ukraine, in these spots, and they’re really… I’ve spoken to several of them, we owe them.
Joe Biden: (03:19)
But uncovering these evidences of their atrocities and war crimes against Ukraine and people, it’s so clear to the whole world now. Now they’ve launched and refocused their campaign to seize new territory in Eastern Ukraine. And we’re in a critical window now, of time, where that they’re going to set the stage for the next phase of this war. And the United States and our allies and partners are moving as fast as possible to continue to provide Ukraine the forces that they need, the weapons they need, excuse me, the equipment they need, their forces need to defend their nation.
Joe Biden: (03:52)
Last week, I signed an $800 million package of security assistance to Ukraine that included new capabilities like artillery systems and armored personnel carriers, equipment that is responsive to Ukraine’s needs and tailored to support the intensified fighting in the Donbas region, which is a different war than in other places, because both topographically it’s different, it’s flat, it’s not in the mountains, and it requires different kinds of weapons to be more effective.
Joe Biden: (04:21)
Today I’m announcing another $800 million to further augment Ukraine’s ability to fight in the East, in the Donbas Region. This package includes heavy artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers, and 144,000 rounds of ammunition to go with those howitzers. It also includes more tactical drones.
Joe Biden: (04:41)
In the past two months we’ve moved weapons and equipment to Ukraine at record speed. We’ve sent thousands of anti-armor and anti-missile helicopters, drones, grenade launchers, machine guns, rifles, radar systems, more than 50 million rounds of ammunition had already been sent.
Joe Biden: (04:57)
The United States alone has provided 10 anti-armor systems for every one Russian tank that’s in Ukraine, a 10-to-one ratio. We’re sharing and will continue to share significant timely intelligence with Ukraine to help defend them against Russian aggression. And on top of this, these direct contributions from the United States, we’re facilitating, we’re the outfit facilitating the significant flow of weapons and systems to Ukraine from other allies and partners around the world, like the S-300 long range anti-aircraft systems that Slovakia recently transferred to Ukraine. We are getting them in there.
Joe Biden: (05:36)
We won’t always be able to advertise everything that our partners are doing to support Ukraine and its fight for freedom, but to modernize Teddy Roosevelt’s famous advice, sometimes we will speak softly and carry a large Javelin, because we’re sending a lot of those in as well, but we’re not sitting on the funding that Congress has provided for Ukraine. We’re sending it directly to the front lines of freedom, to the fearless and skilled Ukrainian fighters who are standing in the breach.
Joe Biden: (06:06)
You got to admit, you must be amazed at the courage of this country, the resolve that they’re showing, not just their military, but the average citizen, men and women, young men, young women as well. The sustained and coordinated support of the international community led and facilitated by the United States is a significant reason why Ukraine is able to [inaudible 00:06:33]. Every American taxpayer, every member of our [inaudible 00:06:39] Forces can be proud of the fact that our country’s generosity and the skill and service of our military helped arm and repel Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
Joe Biden: (06:48)
To beat back Putin’s savagery, that tried to seize Ukraine’s capital and wipe out Ukraine’s government. The battle of Kyiv was a historic victory for the Ukrainians. It was a victory for freedom, won by the Ukrainian people with unprecedented assistance by the United States and our allies and our partners.
Joe Biden: (07:06)
Now, now we have to accelerate that assistance package to help prepare Ukraine for Russia’s offensive that’s going to be more limited in terms of geography, but not in terms of brutality, not in terms of brutality.
Joe Biden: (07:20)
Combined with our recent drawdowns, it will ensure a steady flow of weapons and equipment into Ukraine over the next few weeks. However, with this latest disbursement, I’ve almost exhausted the drawdown authority I have that Congress authorized for Ukraine in a bipartisan spending bill last month.
Joe Biden: (07:39)
In order to sustain Ukraine for the duration of this fight, next week I’m going to have to be sending to Congress, a supplemental budget request to keep weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption to the brave Ukrainian fighters, and continue to deliver economic assistance to the Ukrainian people.
Joe Biden: (07:57)
And my hope is, and my expectation is Congress would move and act quickly. And I want to thank the Congress, Democrats and Republicans, for their support for the people of Ukraine. Our unity at home, our unity with our allies and partners, and our unity with the Ukrainian people is sending an unmistakable message to Putin: he will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine, that will not happen.
Joe Biden: (08:23)
In addition to bolstering Ukraine’s resistance on the battlefield, we’re also demonstrating our support for the people of Ukraine. Today, the United States is announcing that we intend to provide an additional $500 million in direct economic assistance to the Ukrainian Government. This brings our total economic support for Ukraine to $1 billion in the past two months.
Joe Biden: (08:45)
This is money the government can help use to stabilize their economy, to support communities that have been devastated by the Russian onslaught, and pay the brave workers that continue to provide essential services to the people of Ukraine.
Joe Biden: (08:59)
These past weeks have seen a terrible human cost of Putin’s ambition for conquest and control. Approximately two-thirds, two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have been displaced from their home. More than five million Ukrainians have fled their country. It’s an absolute outrage. The idea this is happening approaching the second quarter of the 21st century is just…
Joe Biden: (09:26)
Last month when I was in Europe I announced that the United States would welcome 100,000 Ukrainians so that we share in the responsibility of supporting Ukrainians fleeing Putin’s war machine. We’ve already welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainians to the United States. And today I’m announcing a program, Unite For Ukraine, a new program to enable Ukrainians seeking refuge to come directly from Europe to the United States.
Joe Biden: (09:52)
This new humanitarian parole program will complement the existing legal pathways available to Ukrainians, including immigrant visas and refugees processing. It’ll provide an expedient channel for secure legal migration from Europe to the United States for Ukrainians who have a US sponsor, such as a family or an NGO. This program will be fast, it’ll be streamlined, and it will ensure the United States honors its commitment to go to the people of Ukraine and need not go through our southern border.
Joe Biden: (10:24)
We’re also continuing to ratchet up the pressure on Putin, and further isolate Russia on the world stage. Yesterday, the Treasury Department rolled out additional measures to crack down on the entities and individuals attempting to evade our unprecedented sanctions, not just ours, but throughout the West.
Joe Biden: (10:43)
Today I’m announcing that the United States will ban Russian-affiliated ships from our ports, as they did in Europe. That means no ship, no ship, that sails under the Russian flag, or that is owned or operated by our Russian interests will be allowed to dock in a United States port or access our shores, none, none.
Joe Biden: (11:04)
This is yet another critical step we’re taking in concert with our partners in European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, and further to deny Russia the benefits of international economic system that they so enjoyed in the past.
Joe Biden: (11:17)
We don’t know how long this war will last, but as we approach the two month mark, here’s what we do know: Putin has failed to achieve his grand ambitions on the battlefield. After weeks of shelling Kyiv, Kyiv still stands. Present Zelenskyy and his democratically-elected government still remain in power. And the Ukrainian Armed Forces, joined by many brave Ukrainian civilians have thwarted Russia’s conquest of their country. They’ve been bolstered from day one by an unstinting supply of weapons, ammunition, armor, intelligence from the nations of the free world led by us, the United States.
Joe Biden: (11:56)
As Russia continues to grind out their military advances, and there are military advances and the brutalities against Ukraine, Putin is banking on us losing interest. That’s been my view, and you heard me say this from the beginning, he was counting on NATO, European Union, our allies in Asia, cracking, moving away. He’s betting on Western unity will crack. He’s still betting on that.
Joe Biden: (12:22)
And once again, we’re going to prove him wrong. We will not lessen our evolve. We’re going to continue to stand with the brave and proud people of Ukraine. We will never fail in our determination to defend freedom and oppose tyranny; it’s as simple as that.
Joe Biden: (12:38)
So again, I want to thank the American people, thank the American people for their support of the Ukrainian people. This is our responsibility it seems to me, and we’ve been able to hold the whole world together in this effort. So thank you very much, thank you.
Speaker 2: (12:54)
Speaker 3: (12:55)
Joe Biden: (12:56)
I’m going to take this one or two questions, I got a plane to catch.
Speaker 3: (13:01)
What does Putin claiming control over Mariupol mean? How significant is that?
Joe Biden: (13:05)
Well, first of all, it’s questionable whether he does control Mariupol. One thing for sure we know about Mariupol, he should allow humanitarian carters to let people on that steel mill and other places are buried under rubble to get out, to get out, that’s what any head of state would do in such a circumstance. And so there is no evidence yet that Mariupol is completely fall.
Speaker 4: (13:34)
Mr. President [crosstalk 00:13:37]-
Speaker 5: (13:37)
On Title 42 [inaudible 00:13:37], are you considering delaying lifting Title 42?
Joe Biden: (13:38)
No, what I’m considering is continuing to hear from my… Well, first of all, there’s going to be an appeal by the Justice Department, because as a matter of principle we want to be able to be in a position where if in fact it is strongly concluded by the scientists that we need Title 42, that we be able to do that, but there has been no decision on extending Title 42. Thank you.
Speaker 6: (14:06)
[crosstalk 00:14:06] How long can the US maintain the level and pace of this military support for Ukraine?
Joe Biden: (14:12)
Well we have the capacity to do this for a long time. The question is, are we going to continue to maintain the support of the international community and keep the pressure on Putin to prevent him from overrunning the country? Number one, and number two, make sure we continue to maintain the economic sanctions, which over time, and we’re beginning to see they’re devastating their economy and their ability to move forward. So the most important thing right now is maintain unity, so far, so good. Thank you very much.
Speaker 7: (14:51)
[crosstalk 00:14:51] Mr. President-
Speaker 8: (14:51)
How much money are you going to ask for on the supplemental?
Speaker 6: (14:51)
Speaker 7: (14:51)
How much money on the supplemental, sorry sir?
Joe Biden: (14:57)
[inaudible 00:14:57] Defense Department [inaudible 00:15:00].
Speaker 6: (15:02)
[crosstalk 00:15:02] thank you.
Speaker 6: (15:02)