Janet Yellen, Biden’s Secretary of the Treasury, recently claimed in a New York Times op-ed that American taxpayers have a ‘moral duty’ to defend Ukraine’s border from Russia. Yellen was quoted saying these remarks during her visit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where she also doubled down on Biden’s previously stated rhetoric, claiming that the U.S. will continue to supply Ukraine with funds and sanction Russia until the bitter end of the war. Many have been critical of the remarks, saying that not only will such a stance lead to continued escalation with Russia, but it will also enrage many within the U.S., severely impacting support of the war domestically. So far, the U.S. has already written off more than $110 billion dollars in taxpayer money for Ukraine’s war efforts.
By Wendell Husebo; February 27, 2023
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday claimed American taxpayers have a “moral duty” to defend Ukraine’s eastern border from invasion by giving aid to the nation.
In a New York Times op-ed published while the secretary visited the nation, Yellen said the American support “is motivated, first and foremost, by a moral duty to come to the aid of a people under attack.”
American lawmakers have so far earmarked more than $110 billion of taxpayer funds to defend the border against a Russian invasion.
“Our work is not over. In fact, it is more vital than ever that we continue supporting the Ukrainians,” she continued. “Ukraine’s military resistance depends on a government that can function effectively, as well as a stable economy that can help finance defense efforts over the long term. By fortifying the ‘home front,’ our economic assistance is helping make possible Ukraine’s stalwart frontline defense against Russia.”
In addition to funding Ukraine’s defense, the Biden administration has imposed approximately 1,500 new and 750 amended sanctions and export controls against Russia, the State Department estimates.
Yellen boasted the sanctions have “systematically degraded Russia’s military-industrial complex and reduced revenues that the Kremlin is relying on to fund its war. As demonstrated by our new actions last week, we will not rest until the war is over.”
Critics claim the measures, along with the inflaming rhetoric, has caused the Russian conflict to escalate and prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin from an off-ramp to end the struggle without impacting his domestic political standing.
While championing the defense of Ukraine’s border, Yellen’s op-ed made no mention of the U.S. southern border invasion, instead, she proclaimed the money spent on Ukraine’s border miles away from the continental U.S. would match “our commitment to our ideals — and our capacity to see in others the same desires that animated our own struggles for freedom and justice.”
Approximately 300,000 illegal migrants have slipped past U.S. border patrol and into the interior since the beginning of fiscal 2023. In fiscal year 2022, about two million migrants were encountered by the border patrol.
Yellen is not the only high-profile American official who has offered American taxpayer funds to defend Ukraine. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Friday claimed the security of the United States is dependent on Ukraine’s border security from Russian invasion.
“As my fellow leading Republicans and I have explained, it is not an act of charity for the United States and our NATO allies to help supply the Ukrainian people’s self-defense,” McConnell said. “It is a direct investment in our own core national interests. America is a world power with worldwide interests. Our security and prosperity are deeply intertwined with a secure and stable Europe.”
President Joe Biden has also stated his support for Ukraine’s border defense in a speech in Poland. “We will hold those accountable for those responsible for this war, and will seek justice for the war crimes and crimes against humanity continuing to be committed by the Russians,” he said announcing additional sanctions.
“And we are going to announce more sanctions this week together with our partners,” he added.
Photo: The Associated Press