War in Ukraine
Updated September 21, 2023, 7:37 pm
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for more military aid for his country during a visit to the US Congress. While Democrats signal approval, Republicans express skepticism.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urgently appealed for more arms aid for his country during a visit to the US Congress in Washington. Zelenskyy said on Thursday, after meetings with representatives and senators from the two main US parties, that he had “very strong” discussions. However, there were again voices among opposition Republicans who spoke out against additional military aid to the country attacked by Russia.
Democrats open to more military aid for Ukraine – Republicans skeptical
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned of a possible lack of further support for Kiev: “Mr. Zelensky told us, ‘If we don’t get help, we will lose the war.'”
US President Joe Biden, who intended to welcome Zelensky to the White House on Thursday, asked Congress for new funding for Ukraine worth 24 billion dollars (around 22.5 billion euros). But there is resistance from the ranks of conservative Republicans – and they constitute the majority in the House of Representatives.
Zelensky in Washington: Some Republicans have reservations about further support for Ukraine
The right wing of the party, in particular, argues that the money should be better used in the USA, including for border security. Very difficult budget negotiations are currently underway in Congress.
Republican Senator JD Vance wrote on the short message service X (formerly Twitter) that the US was being asked to finance “an endless conflict with unlimited resources”. “That’s enough.”
The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy, had already announced before Zelensky’s visit that he would ask the Ukrainian president about the use of previous US funds and about the “plan for victory”.
Zelensky calls for longer-range missiles
Republican Michael McCaul assured Ukraine of more aid on Thursday after meeting with Zelensky. “They need it and they will get it,” said the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Zelensky said his troops would be successful in fighting.
The United States is Ukraine’s main supporter in the war against Russia and has already delivered or promised more than $43 billion in military aid. Upon arriving in Washington, Zelensky told X that “air defense would be among the top priorities” in their talks.
The Ukrainian president is also pushing for the delivery of long-range missiles. He is interested in the US ATACMS missiles, which have a range of 300 kilometers. The US has been extremely cautious on this issue – as has Germany when it comes to the Taurus cruise missiles.
US Secretary of Defense Austin receives Zelensky
Zelenskyy had already traveled to Washington last December and gave a speech to Congress there. It was his first trip abroad after the start of the Russian war of aggression, on February 24, 2022.
Zelenskyy was now traveling from New York to Washington. The Ukrainian president participated this week in the general debate at the UN General Assembly in the US metropolis. He spoke at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
On Thursday he was welcomed by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon following his visit to Congress. The meeting with Biden was scheduled for 3pm local time (9pm CEST). (mt/afp)
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Teaser image: © dpa / Mark Schiefelbein/AP/dpa