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On Sunday, President Joe Biden assured that the flow of American aid to Ukraine will continue for the time being. He aimed to reassure allies about ongoing U.S. financial support for the war effort. The president issued a warning to Congress, emphasizing that time is running out.
Speaking from the White House, Biden praised the deal reached by lawmakers, which he promptly signed into law just minutes before funding was set to expire at midnight on Sunday. He added that the same protracted, last-minute process wouldn’t be necessary for the upcoming round of negotiations leading up to the November 17 deadline to keep the government operational.
The president urged House GOP leadership to pass yearlong appropriations bills in accordance with the agreement he and McCarthy reached earlier in the year during the standoff over raising the U.S. debt ceiling. Biden has frequently criticized the speaker for deviating from that agreement by proposing spending cuts that exceed what was initially discussed.
Furthermore, Biden called on McCarthy and other Republican leaders to honor their commitment to hold a separate vote on funding for Ukraine as it strives to repel a Russian invasion.
Biden stressed the need to consistently support Ukraine, especially in the face of recent funding challenges. These remarks followed Congress passing a short-term funding package on Saturday, which, unfortunately, did not include aid for Ukraine in its struggle against Russia. This move prevented a government shutdown.
He highlighted the time sensitivity of the situation, as the funding only covers until mid-November. Biden called on Congress to swiftly work out an aid package.
Biden emphasized that a majority of members from both parties, spanning the Senate and House, are in agreement about assisting Ukraine against Russia’s aggressive actions. He urged them to put aside political tactics and expedite the process, urging, “Stop playing games, get this done.”
The U.S. has already provided Ukraine with about $46 billion in military aid since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. President Biden has asked for an extra $24 billion.. Recently, advanced equipment like long-range missiles and tanks have been sent to Kyiv.
This comes as Kyiv’s forces continue a steady counter-offensive in the south. However, the temporary budget deal reached on Saturday, which funds the U.S. government for 45 days, temporarily left out ongoing military funding.
Biden stressed the importance of ensuring uninterrupted American support for Ukraine, expressing these sentiments in remarks from the Roosevelt Room after Congress prevented a government shutdown by approving a short-term funding package late on Saturday. This package excluded assistance for Ukraine in its conflict against Russia.
Despite Biden’s efforts to reassure Kyiv, the fate of US aid for Ukraine is still uncertainThe compromise reached in Congress late on Sunday, which excluded new funding for Ukraine due to opposition from hardline Republicans, leaves the situation in a state of flux.
Biden and his Democratic party assert that the US has a responsibility to support Ukraine against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion, cautioning that a failure to do so could embolden other nations in the future.
However, the matter has become highly politicized in Washington, putting the critical military assistance at risk just as Kyiv endeavors to advance its slow counteroffensive before winter arrives.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry assures that the “flow of US aid remains unchanged,” with $3 billion in humanitarian and military support still expected to arrive, but it acknowledges that “ongoing programs” might be impacted.
Ukrainian MP Oleksi Goncharenko conceded that the suspended funding was causing concern in Kyiv. He voiced his unease with the US Congress vote, asserting that the US had pledged to stand with Ukraine for as long as needed. However, he noted that support for Ukraine had been omitted from the stop-gap deal. He emphasized that this development was a cause for alarm, not only for Ukraine but also for Europe.
This political turmoil is just one of several signs of Western fatigue. The increasing skepticism among some Republicans and the recent electoral victory of a populist, pro-Moscow party in Slovakia are worrisome developments for both Ukraine and the European Union.
During an interview with the BBC in Kyiv, Josep Borrell, the EU’s highest-ranking diplomat, conveyed his apprehension regarding the recent decision on US funding for Ukraine. He remarked that he was uncertain about what the future might bring. He emphasized that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine posed an existential threat to Europeans, and he stressed the need for an appropriate response.
In his daily address from Kyiv, President Zelensky emphasized that no one should be able to undermine Ukraine’s resilience. It is evident that the country will continue to persevere, with or without assistance from the West, as Ukraine is steadfast in its preferences.