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Live: US House approves $40 billion in aid for Ukraine

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The House emphatically approved a fresh $40 billion Ukraine aid package Tuesday as lawmakers beefed up President Joe Biden’s initial request, signaling a magnified, bipartisan commitment to thwart Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bloody three-month-old invasion. Meanwhile, Russian strikes continue to barrage the port city of Odesa, Ukrainian officials said. Follow FRANCE 24’s live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2). 

5:32am: War in Ukraine revives France-Spain gas pipeline project

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Madrid has revived calls to build a huge gas pipeline between Spain and France dubbed MidCat that would boost Europe’s energy independence from Russia.

Initially launched in 2003, the 190-kilometre (120-mile) Midi-Catalonia (MidCat) pipeline would pump gas across the Pyrenees from Hostalric just north of Barcelona to Barbaira in southern France.

Its aim was to transport gas from Algeria through Spain to the rest of the European Union. There are currently only two small gas pipelines linking Spain and France.

But following several years of work, the project was abandoned in 2019 after energy regulators from both countries rejected it amid questions over its environmental impact and profitability.

4:18am: US House approves $40 billion Ukraine aid

US lawmakers voted Tuesday to send a $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, as Washington warned that Russia was likely girding for a long conflict with its neighbor.

The defense, humanitarian and economic funding passed the House of Representatives by 368 votes to 57, with the two parties’ leaders having already reached an agreement on the details. It will likely pass the Senate by the end of the week or next week.

All the dissenting votes came from the Republican ranks.

“With this aid package, America sends a resounding message to the world of our unwavering determination to stand with the courageous people of Ukraine until victory is won,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues ahead of the vote.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)

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