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Eastern Express 10.11

This episode explores whether the results of the midterm elections to the U.S. Congress will have an impact on White House and Congressional policy towards Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine. Will there be a change to the scale of U.S. assistance in supplying weapons, military equipment and financial support to Ukraine?

It presently seems, though at this time of recording the final outcome of the election is not yet known, that the Republican Party will ultimately take control of the House of Representatives, while the outcome of the Senate elections will be decided as far ahead as in December 2022, and an additional round of Senate elections in Georgia seems necessary.

Ahead of the elections, U.S. senators had assured the Kyiv government that the outcome of the election would not influence American policy on Ukraine.

However during the election campaign, there were voices in the Republican Party, such as party leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, as well as in the Democratic Party, where a list of 30 congressmen from the progressive wing of the party questioned the Biden administration’s previous policy on aid to Ukraine.

If the Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy will replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

With Mr McCarthy at the helm, Republicans will gain control over bills put before them, which also means control over money for Ukraine. This is why Mr McCarthy’s statement is casting doubt on future aid shipments to Ukraine owing to the American society’s struggle with recession that has undermined trust in bipartisan support for Kyiv.

It does not appear however, that U.S. policy with this issue in mind will undergo a fundamental revision after the elections, although if the Democratic administration were to lose its majority in Congress it will have its legislative initiative impeded and be subject to stricter legislative control and financial discipline from the Republicans.

Eastern Express’ guest was Maciej Kożuszek, Head of the International desk at Gazeta Polska Daily, who discussed with us the significance of the midterms.

The lawyers of American basketball player Brittney Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia in August on a drug smuggling case, confirmed that the athlete has been transferred to a penal colony.

The European Commission has unveiled details of the EUR 18 billion economic support package that is expected to lead Ukraine through 2023, now hoping that it will be accepted by EU member states.

The deputy head of the pro-Russian government of the Kherson region in Ukraine, Kyrylo Stremousov, died on Wednesday in unclear circumstances, Ukrainian media has reported.

The British government confirmed on Tuesday evening that it will be sending heated tents and sleeping kits designated for extremely cold conditions to Ukraine, to help the country’s armed forces get through the cold winter.

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