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Biden administration considering $1B loan guarantee to Ukraine

President Biden gives remarks to discuss lowering healthcare and prescription drug cost at Germanna Community College in Culpepper, Va., on Thursday, February 10, 2022.
Greg Nash

The Biden administration is considering offering Ukraine up to $1 billion in loan guarantees, White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday. 

“It is something we are considering as part of the additional macroeconomic support we are exploring to help Ukraine’s economy amidst pressure resulting from Russia’s military buildup,” Jean-Pierre said during a briefing Monday afternoon. 

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised the idea of the loan guarantee during a briefing with lawmakers on Capitol Hill earlier Monday, according to a source familiar with the call. 

A loan guarantee could help ease the burden on Ukraine’s economy and help stabilize the markets, the source suggested. 

It’s not clear what else the administration is considering as part of the package of macroeconomic support, but the threat of war with Russia has already impacted Ukraine’s economy. Reuters reported the Ukrainian Hryvnia, its currency, hit about a three-week low on Monday. 

The Ukrainian government has also extended funding to cover the cost of insurance for airlines to continue operating commercial flights in the country, Reuters reported, allocating about $592 million. 

The U.S. has been steadily providing security assistance to Ukraine as the country faces a mounting threat from Russia, which has amassed more than 100,000 troops at the Ukrainian border. 

The Ukrainian economy, as well as the broader European economy, are likely to take a hit in the event of Russian military action against the country. 

Biden administration officials are warning that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could happen at any time, though they say that the U.S. has not assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made up his mind on invading. 

Biden spoke with Putin over the weekend and warned him that the U.S. and its allies would respond with “swift and severe costs” on Russia were it to invade Ukraine, according to the White House. Biden also spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday.  

Officials say the Biden administration is preparing a package of sanctions and export controls that it would use in the event of a military incursion. 

Tags Jake Sullivan Karine Jean-Pierre Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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