Without aid, Kiev cannot fight Russia, the visiting president reportedly told US lawmakers
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has pegged his nation’s continued fight against Russia to sustained US military assistance, according to US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“There was a single sentence that summed it all up, and I am quoting him verbatim. Mr. Zelensky said: ‘If we don’t get the aid, we will lose the war,’” the lawmaker told journalists after meeting Zelensky on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
The Biden administration has requested an additional $24 billion in spending for Ukraine, but this proposal faces resistance from Republican lawmakers. A group of over two dozen GOP senators and representatives sent a letter to the White House on Thursday, expressing concerns about the allocation of funds and seeking clarification on the progress of the counteroffensive.
“The American people deserve to know what their money has gone to. How is the counteroffensive going?” the letter read.
Are the Ukrainians any closer to victory than they were 6 months ago? What is our strategy, and what is the president’s exit plan? What does the administration define as victory in Ukraine?
The message was penned after Biden officials briefed Congress behind closed doors on Wednesday evening about their plans for Ukraine. Senator Josh Hawley, a skeptic of the White House’s policy, said the executive branch wanted indefinite funding with no clear path to a Ukrainian victory.
“What was it, $24 billion? That is not the end, they made it very clear. It’s not close to the end,” he said of the briefing. “What we were basically told is ‘Buckle up and get out your checkbook.’”
While bipartisan support for funding the Ukraine war remains intact, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has faced resistance within his party, according to US media. He opted for a private meeting with Zelensky during his visit to Washington, D.C., instead of convening a formal House session.
During its summer ongoing counteroffensive, the Ukrainian military has encountered strong Russian resistance and suffered significant losses in manpower and weaponry, resulting in a failure to make substantial territorial gains. Both the Zelensky government and the White House have shifted their messaging to emphasize slow but steady progress in the long term.
September 22, 2023 at 02:21PM