Zelensky To Meet With Biden, Republicans As Ukraine War Funding Dries Up


Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Washington on Tuesday to meet with President Joe Biden, ahead of Republicans' reluctance to send more money to the fight against Russia amid warnings that aid will run out in weeks. , is scheduled to defend President Biden's lawsuit.

In a flurry of diplomatic activity after the White House announced Zelensky's visit, Mike Johnson's aides also met with the new Republican House speaker, who is trying to link aid to Ukraine with funding for U.S. border security. Then he said. He met with Ukrainian leaders on Tuesday.

And Senate officials say Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have similarly invited Zelensky to speak at a meeting of the full Senate on Tuesday morning. The move comes a week after several Republicans angrily walked out of a secret Ukraine news conference where Zelenskiy was scheduled to speak. via video.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that Biden and Zelensky stressed Ukraine's “urgent needs” to repel the Russian invasion and “the critical importance of continued U.S. support at this critical juncture.” '' he said he plans to discuss.

The Ukrainian President's Office said the meeting would focus on key issues such as “joint projects on the production of weapons and air defense systems, as well as the coordination of efforts between the two countries in the coming year.”

Republican senators last week blocked $106 billion in emergency aid, primarily to Ukraine and Israel, after conservatives balked at excluding immigration reform they had requested as part of the package.

This was a setback for Biden, who had urged lawmakers to approve the funding after warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin could go beyond victory in Ukraine and even attack NATO allies.

US “national security”

Sharanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, echoed those concerns Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation, warning that “our national security is also affected by the fate of Ukraine.”

“If President Putin marches through Ukraine, what happens next? NATO countries, our sons and daughters, are at risk of being drawn into a bigger conflict,” she said.

But Republicans remain skeptical, with Sen. J.D. Vance, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, dismissing the idea that Putin would endanger NATO countries in the region as “ridiculous.” did.

He told CNN on Sunday that he opposes “blank checks” to Ukraine.

“We need to be clear about our ambitions. What can we accomplish with $61 billion that we can't accomplish with $100 billion?” Vance said.

“The best interest of the United States is for Ukraine to accept that it will have to cede some territory to Russia and end the war.”

The funding spree highlights signs that Western support for Ukraine is wavering as Kiev's counterattack stalls and Putin's forces seek new acquisitions.

Billions of dollars worth of Western weapons have been used to attack Ukraine, but the front has remained largely unchanged for more than a year, and Russian attacks along the front have intensified.

The White House said Biden's meeting “comes at a critical time as Russia ramps up its missile and drone attacks against Ukraine.”

In early December, President Putin signed a decree increasing Russia's military by 15% to around 170,000 troops.

The Kremlin has recently shown signs of a possible peace deal, but one that would include a shrunken and neutral Ukraine, something Zelenskiy would find difficult to accept.

The US State Department on Wednesday announced $175 million in new stop-gap aid to Ukraine, including valuable HIMARS rockets, artillery shells, missiles and ammunition.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted on Sunday that “Ukraine has done an extraordinary job defending itself.”

“The choice is very clear,” he told the ABC. “If we do this and help Ukraine maintain the gains it has made, it will help ensure that Russia continues to make strategic mistakes in Ukraine. That is one way forward.”

“The other way is to do something that the only people rooting for it are Moscow, and maybe Tehran and Beijing, and that's not to provide this support,” he said. .

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



Sign up to stay informed to breaking news