U.S. President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, are scheduled to meet in Washington on Tuesday following a warning from the U.S. administration that it could run out of funds for Ukrainian aid against Russia.
Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky will travel to Washington on Tuesday to meet with President Joe Biden and plead his case before Republicans who are hesitant to allocate more money for his fight against Russia, amid warnings that aid will run out in weeks.
Zelensky travels to plead his case before Republicans hesitant to allocate more money for Ukraine’s fight. Mike Johnson, the new Republican Speaker, and Senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell will also meet with Zelensky.
The meeting will focus on joint projects, air defense systems, and coordination between the two countries. Last week, Republicans blocked $106 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine, a setback for Biden, who warned of broader consequences if Russia succeeds.
Despite bipartisan approval of billions in military and economic aid for Ukraine since Russia’s 2022 invasion, securing additional funds has become harder as more Republicans question both the amount and its utilization, as The Washington Post pointed.
Ukraine’s offensive has employed billions of dollars’ worth of Western weapons. However, the front lines have barely shifted in more than a year and Russian attacks along the front have intensified.
Shalanda Young, head of the White House Office of Management and Budget, reiterated that fear on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, warning that “our national security is also influenced” by Ukraine’s fate. “What happens if Putin marches through Ukraine, what’s next? NATO countries, our sons, and daughters, are at risk of being a part of a larger conflict,” she said.
Republican skepticism persists, with Senator JD Vance opposing a “blank check” for Ukraine and suggesting accepting some territorial concessions. He told CNN on Sunday that “What is $61 billion going to accomplish that $100 billion hasn’t?” Vance said. “What’s in America’s best interest is to accept Ukraine is going to have to cede some territory to the Russians, and we need to bring the war to a close.”
The funding dispute comes as Western support for Ukraine weakens amid a stalled counteroffensive. Biden’s meeting is crucial as Russia intensifies attacks, and Putin signals a possible peace deal with a shrunken, neutral Ukraine.
The US State Department announced a stopgap $175 million tranche of new aid for Ukraine on Wednesday, including prized HIMARS rockets, shells, missiles, and ammunition.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed Ukraine’s resilience and the strategic importance of aiding its defense.
Miroslava Salazar, with AFP