United States President Joe Biden has invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to a meeting at the White House this Tuesday, December 12, which he intends to use to pressure Congress to approve additional aid to kyiv to defend themselves. of the Russian invasion. With this meeting, Biden aims to “underscore the United States’ unwavering commitment to supporting the Ukrainian people in their defense against the brutal Russian invasion,” according to White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre.
“As Russia escalates its missile and drone attacks against Ukraine, the leaders will discuss Ukraine’s urgent needs and the vital importance of continued U.S. support at this critical time,” the statement said of the White House in which Zelensky’s visit is announced.
This is the third visit to Washington since the start of the war. Zelensky visited Biden late last year on a trip that also included a speech to Congress. He then visited the White House in September after attending the UN Assembly in New York, but on that occasion the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, refused to allow him to attend. address to Congress. This time, Zelensky plans to meet with Senate leaders.
The Ukrainian president’s new visit comes at a time when the new aid plan requested by Biden from Congress is blocked. There are almost 110 billion dollars (more than 100 billion euros) for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and the border with Mexico, of which the majority of funds (61.4 billion dollars) are intended for ‘Ukraine. Republicans blocked its approval last Wednesday in the Senate despite Biden’s insistent demands. The President of the United States also met by videoconference this Wednesday with the leaders of the rest of the G7 countries to reiterate their governments’ support for kyiv.
The US Congress has already allocated $111 billion to help Ukraine. Biden’s budget director, Shalanda Young, said in a letter to House and Senate leaders this week that the United States will run out of funds to send weapons and assistance to the Kiev government by the end of the year, unless they approve the new package.
Zelensky stood his ground in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday, without explaining why he did not connect to the two closed-door videoconference meetings, where in theory he was going to argue the need for additional support . The Ukrainian president will arrive in Washington at a delicate time, facing growing international resistance to continued aid, internal unrest and war stalemate on the eve of winter.
Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.
Within the Republican Party, skepticism is growing about whether the multimillion-dollar sums transferred to Ukraine are useful to the United States in a conflict that is approaching its second anniversary and with no end in sight. Republicans are demanding that, in addition to the security allocation for kyiv, Israel and Taiwan requested by Biden, be added an extraordinary investment to further strengthen the border with Mexico, which Democrats reject. In addition to the Senate, the law must be approved by the House of Representatives, with a Republican majority.
In a television interview, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated that President Joe Biden was willing to make significant concessions to move forward with the aid plan. “This is something that the president is totally willing to engage in,” Blinken said. “We need this supplemental budget request approved as quickly as possible. Ukraine has done an extraordinary job defending itself against Russian aggression. Last year, it recovered more than 50% of its territory. It is currently fighting a fierce battle on the eastern and southern fronts. We already lack resources to continue helping them, and we need them,” he explained this Sunday on ABC.
Reinvestment in the United States
Blinken emphasized that nearly 90% of the security assistance the United States provides to Ukraine is invested in the United States, in the production of materials, munitions and weapons. “You are investing here in the United States in good jobs,” he said. “The choice is very clear. If we do that and help Ukraine maintain the gains, and if we help ensure that Russia continues to suffer strategic failure in Ukraine, that is a path forward. The other solution is to do something that only Moscow and perhaps Tehran and Beijing support: not provide this aid,” he argued.
Ohio Republican Sen. JD Vance said in another CNN interview Sunday that the administration has yet to justify additional aid to Ukraine. “What we’re saying to the president, and really to everyone, is that he needs to make it clear what his ambition is. “What is $61 billion going to accomplish that $100 billion didn’t accomplish?” Vance asked.
For his part, Utah Senator Mitt Romney, also a Republican, showed his support for aid to Ukraine on NBC. “My own view is that the United States is very interested in Ukraine’s success and in providing the weapons that Ukraine needs to defend itself. Anything less than that would constitute a huge abandonment of our responsibility to the world of democracy, but also to our own national interest,” he said. At the same time, he insisted that in his view there is bipartisan agreement on the need to secure the border to deal with record numbers of immigrants entering the United States from Mexico.
According to the Guardian, Allies of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will meet with Republicans in Washington next week to press for an end to US military support for Ukraine. Members of the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs and staff of the Hungarian Embassy in Washington will begin a two-day meeting hosted by the thinking group Heritage Conservation Foundation.
Zelensky was in Buenos Aires this Sunday to attend the inauguration of Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, during the Ukrainian leader’s first trip to Latin America. Ukraine continues to seek support from developing countries for its defense against Russian invasion and used its trip to Argentina to meet with several leaders. On the way to Buenos Aires he met with the prime minister of Cape Verde, and once in Argentina he had bilateral meetings with the presidents of Paraguay, Ecuador and Uruguay.