WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Congress earmarked $300 million in the 2016 defense budget to provide security assistance to Ukraine. The House of Representatives has introduced legislation calling for up to $1 billion in lethal defensive military aid for Ukraine.
“We are willing to spend potentially billions of dollars to hand arms to the Ukrainians, apparently for free, but we are arguing over guaranteeing loans to them,” Murphy said in a speech to the Woodrow Wilson Center think tank.
Murphy, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asserted that the United States should more closely consider additional economic assistance to Ukraine, debt forgiveness as well as assistance with debt restructuring.
“There is an obsession with the military power of the United States,” Murphy said of the current debate in Congress. He commented that he is “stunned” that “80 percent of the oxygen that we [in Congress] expend” is discussing arming the Ukrainian military.
According to reports, Ukraine is currently working to restructure $23 billion in debt in order to become eligible for future funds under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.
In February 2015, the IMF and international creditors signed on to a $40 billion bailout fund to help Ukraine avoid default.