WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, President Biden signed into law bipartisan legislation co-introduced by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) that will authorize the President to enter into lend-lease agreements with Ukraine to provide additional categories of military equipment to protect civilians.
“As Russia continues its illegal attack on Ukraine, resulting in the death of thousands of civilians, we must do everything we can to support the Ukrainian military and help Ukrainian society fight back,” said Senator Tillis. “Authorization of a Lend-Lease agreement will allow the United States to provide additional equipment and resources to defend innocent civilians and show Putin the United States will not back down from this unprovoked invasion.”
As part of his Arms Export Control Act and Foreign Assistance Act authorities, the President can currently lend and lease defense articles to U.S. partners and allies when it is in the United States’ national security interest. However, bureaucratic barriers and other limitations make these authorities impractical for the current crisis facing Ukraine.
This enhanced lend-lease authority will be specific to Ukraine to help remove obstacles to lending arms to Ukraine. It will not create a new program but will streamline the President’s current authority to lend the defense articles necessary to defend civilian populations in Ukraine. In addition, this legislation will:
- Require the President or his designee to establish expedited delivery procedures for any military equipment loaned or leased to Ukraine to ensure timely delivery to Ukraine.
- Remain in effect upon enactment for two years, with the possibility of Congress extending the authority if needed.