Zelenskyy calls for unity on Ukraine aid in US Congress

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Ukraine can’t be a political issue between the U.S. parties, said Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressing the delay in the U.S. Congress’s approval of the $60 billion military aid package, The Washington Post reported on March 29.

“We lost half a year,” Zelenskyy said.

“We can’t waste time anymore.”

Ukraine aid critics don't understand the stakes of the war, he said. If Ukraine falls, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin will divide the world into Russia’s friends and enemies. The options available to Ukraine on the battlefield depend on what Congress decides.

"If there is no U.S. support, it means that we have no air defense, no Patriot missiles, no jammers for electronic warfare, no 155-millimeter artillery rounds," Zelenskyy said.

Until Ukraine is assured of ongoing U.S. support, the Ukrainian Armed Forces "will remain where we are now in the east," he said. Ukraine might conduct limited offensive operations, but the Ukrainian soldiers need more weapons to push the Russians out.

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The U.S. Senate passed a $95 billion aid bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, with $60 billion allocated for Kyiv on Feb. 13. House Speaker Mike Johnson criticized the Senate proposal the same day, saying that he would not bring the Senate-supported bill to the floor for consideration.

Johnson promised a “timely” vote on extending aid to Ukraine following a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House on Feb. 27.

During the meeting with congressional leaders from both parties, Biden emphasized the “urgent need” to allocate the aid for Ukraine.

Speakers of 23 parliaments and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola appealed to Johnson on Feb. 28 to consider the bill. The next day, he announced that the House of Representatives would not take up the issue of providing aid to Ukraine until the U.S. government receives funding.

Biden signed on March 23 a package of bills funding government agencies totaling $1.2 trillion, which had been supported by the House of Representatives and the Senate shortly before. He called on the House to pass the bill providing aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Read also: U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson pledges to finally take action on Ukraine aid after budget approval

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