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Ukrainian FM discusses military aid and NATO Summit with US Secretary of State

Anthony Blinken and Dmytro Kuleba
Anthony Blinken and Dmytro Kuleba

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on X on March 16 that he held a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, addressing U.S. military assistance to Ukraine and the upcoming NATO summit in Washington.

Kuleba thanked the U.S. for the recent military aid package, aimed at helping Ukraine resist Russian aggression. He emphasized the urgent need for continued U.S. and international support for Ukraine, including air defense systems and artillery ammunition.

Read also: House Democratic Leader urges republicans to pass Ukraine aid bill by March 22

"We cannot allow Russia to use delays in aid to advance, putting all of Europe and the democratic world at risk of an even larger war," he said.

Kuleba and Blinken discussed the ways to secure critical supplemental aid, highlighting Ukraine's demonstrated ability to defeat Russia with sufficient support.

“Failure to continue supporting Ukraine would severely undermine the U.S. leadership all accross the world and jeopardize American national security,” he said.

Read also: House Speaker Johnson to unblock Ukraine aid but with significant differences

Kuleba exchanged views with Blinken on the expected outcomes of the upcoming NATO Washington summit, scheduled for 2024.

U.S. President Joe Biden urged Congress on March 15 to swiftly approve a bill containing funding for assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Gaza residents.

The U.S. House is drafting its own Ukraine aid bill which will look substantially different than from the one passed by the Senate, House Speaker Mike Johnson said on March 14.

That same day, House Speaker Johnson again criticized the Senate's proposal, stating that he did not intend to bring the Senate-backed bill to the House floor for consideration.

Washington announced a new $300 million military support package for Ukraine on March 12, which includes artillery shells and GMLRS munitions for HIMARS rocket artillery. This was the first tranche of U.S. security assistance to Kyiv since late 2023.

The U.S. Congress has yet to approve a $60 billion aid package for Ukraine. The Senate endorsed the corresponding bill on Feb. 13, but House Speaker Mike Johnson remains reluctant to put it to a vote before the House of Representatives, even though the bill would likely secure broad bipartisan support in the chamber.

Read also: No more ‘emergency’ aid packages for Ukraine, Pentagon says

The U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said in February that at the summit in Washington this summer, the Alliance would probably not invite Ukraine to join, but would give a clear signal of future membership.

Ukraine expects defense and political decisions following the NATO summit in Washington, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in January.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine