Biden team weighs using US State Dept grants to fund weapons for Ukraine -US official

(Reuters) – The Biden administration is considering using a U.S. State Department grant program to send additional military aid to Ukraine, a U.S. official said on Thursday. 

The State Department can provide assistance to foreign governments for the purchase of U.S. defense equipment and military training under the Foreign Military Sales program by offering Foreign Military Financing. This is a grant or loan program that gives allies and partners a boost to their purchasing capacity to for security products.

Politico first reported the exploratory initiative on Thursday, citing two U.S. officials with knowledge of the discussions. According to a State Department fact sheet dated Sept. 21, about $650 million worth of Foreign Military Financing appropriation remained out of $4.65 billion pool earmarked for Ukraine and countries impacted by the conflict. 

A State Department spokesman declined to comment on the Politico report.

FMF is used widely. In August, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration approved a military transfer to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Financing program, normally used for sovereign states.

(Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru and Mike Stone in Washington; editing by Diane Craft and David Gregorio)