U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

 – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday that Congress’ inaction in approving new U.S. aid to Ukraine is “nothing short of a gift” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iran and other adversaries as Ukrainian forces run short of ammunition to fight Russia’s invasion.

In remarks at the start of a bilateral meeting with German economy minister Robert Habeck in Washington, Yellen urged House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson again to swiftly pass a $61 billion military and economic aid package for Ukraine. Members of Congress will gather at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday evening for President Joe Biden’s annual State of the Union address.

“As the House continues to stall, Russia is gaining ground and Ukraine is being forced to ration ammunition and supplies,” Yellen said. “The House must act and show the strength of the U.S support for Ukraine in the face of Putin’s aggression. Congressional inaction is nothing short of a gift to Putin, Iran and other adversaries that stand against America and its allies.”

Iran has supplied missiles, drones and other weapons systems to Russia.

Yellen also said that budget support for Ukraine would be conditioned on additional reforms in addition to already “robust” transparency and oversight.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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