The US authorities are preparing to pass a law on the lease of military weapons for Ukraine. The last time this procedure took place was during World War II. Now it can become an important factor in the Russian-Ukrainian confrontation.
Even before the open Russian invasion began in February, US authorities began supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons. After the beginning of the aggression, the volume of military supplies increased significantly and reached 3.7 billion dollars. Partners from overseas give Ukraine not only weapons and equipment, but also money to buy other weapons.
The law on material assistance to European allies in the United States was adopted in March 1941, when the war on the continent had been going on for almost a year and a half. But that was nine months before America formally entered the hot phase of the war after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
The “lend lease” procedure, which means “leasing or lending” literally, meant that Washington would hand over military and civilian equipment, weapons, equipment, ammunition and other property to countries whose defense was “vital” to the United States.
Such countries first included Britain and China, and then France and the USSR.
The Soviet Union signed the first American aid agreement in October 1941, when Soviet troops had been defeated by Nazi Germany for six months, retreating to the east and losing thousands of equipment and millions of soldiers. It was not until June 1942 that the parties fully agreed on the supply of weapons, equipment and other property.
The statistics said during the 4 years of the war, the United States supplied the Allies with goods and weapons worth almost $ 50 billion, which at the current rate is about $ 700 billion.
Cars, radio stations, machines, wagons and steam locomotives, oil products, steel sheets, gunpowder, food and other goods were mainly leased. They were delivered from the United States by sea.
These products allowed the USSR to maintain the production of its own weapons and equipment and led to the victory of the Allies. For example, American wagons and fuel made it possible to deliver reinforcements and weapons to the war front. Materials, machines were used in the manufacture of military equipment, long-term storage products solved the problem of food shortages of Soviet soldiers and civilians.
The new war in Europe has shown the relevance of old aid instruments. In fact, procedures similar to the American Lend-Lease, namely the free transfer of weapons and equipment to Ukraine, have already been introduced in many European countries, as well as Canada, Japan and Australia.
The United States has decided that the draft law on land lease for Ukraine (Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act) will be able to bring these processes to a new level. It is supported by lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties.
The text of the document refers to giving the US president expanded powers to transfer or lease defense products to Ukraine to “protect civilians from Russian military invasion” and for other purposes.
The White House reports that today on April 28th the Lend-Lease for Ukraine will be voted.
If the lend-lease law is passed, it will give Biden authority and significantly speed up the supply of weapons, food, etc. from the United States.