President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday that the United States would be “staying with you” as its grinding war with Russia continues, even as a growing faction of the Republican Party has threatened to hold up aid that Zelenskyy said could cost his country the war.
Zelenskyy’s second wartime visit to Washington was spent visiting Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and, finally, the White House, in an extended appeal for more weapons. Along the way, he carried a grim warning. During a meeting at the Capitol with dozens of senators, Zelenskyy said Ukraine would lose the war without the aid, according to Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader.
At the White House, Biden said the US would begin shipping over Abrams tanks, which the Ukrainians had long sought and were part of an existing pledge, next week. He also acknowledged that he had little choice but to have faith in a bipartisan breakthrough for continued support for Ukraine.
“I’m counting on the good judgment of the United States Congress,” Biden said. “There’s no alternative.”
Zelensky’s visit came as polls have shown a growing weariness over the war among the American public, and as dozens of Republicans say they are opposed to Biden’s latest request to Congress for $24 billion for additional aid for Ukraine. Biden has bucked Republican concerns, pledging that the US — by far the largest military funder of Ukraine among its Western allies — will stay with Kyiv for the long haul.
Zelensky said he also received assurances from Speaker Kevin McCarthy that the House would continue to support the Ukrainian war effort. “He said that they will be on our side — it’s not simple — that they will support,” he said during a meeting with US editors on Thursday night.
New York Times News Service