Durbin, Grassley Seek To Fortify NATO's Eastern Flank, Reinforce Ukraine

New proposal would backfill weaponry for certain NATO countries supporting Ukraine

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation that seeks to replace weapons, ammunition and other defense equipment provided to Ukraine by certain NATO countries. Specifically, the bill would authorize the Department of Defense (DoD) to transfer equipment to lower-income NATO countries to quickly fortify their defense capabilities as an incentive to donate additional capabilities to Ukraine.


“The resilience of the Ukrainian people is unparalleled, as they continue to show Putin that they are not willing to hand over their country’s future,” said Durbin. “I’m leading a bipartisan bill with Senator Grassley to ensure that we continue to support our NATO partners who are providing Ukrainians on the frontlines with critically needed security aid.”


“Thankfully, many of our NATO allies stepped up to the plate and immediately delivered critical weapons and supplies to Ukraine. To deter any potential further invasion or aggression from Putin, and to facilitate delivery of additional weapons systems to Ukraine so it can expel the invaders, it’s important to replenish arms and ammunition quickly – especially in eastern Europe. Putin’s actions have been increasingly unhinged, and during this uncertain time, it’s especially important for the U.S. to stand strongly with our allies in the region,” Grassley said.


Durbin and Grassley’s proposal would backfill arms donated by lower-income NATO countries. This would both fix security gaps in frontline NATO countries from existing donations, and it would encourage further donation of high impact systems that could make a significant difference in the next phase of the war to ensure Ukrainian victory. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is also a cosponsor of the legislation.


Durbin and Grassley, Co-Chairs of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus, previously introduced the Baltic Defense and Deterrence Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation to effectively codify the Baltic Security Initiative effort and create a complementary initiative at the U.S. Department of State. Jointly, these two efforts will enhance and strengthen U.S. security and economic cooperation with the Baltics amid Russia’s continued aggression toward the Baltics and heightened tensions with China.


Read the full bill text by clicking here.