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13 Dec, 2023 10:51

US approaching end of Ukraine aid – Biden

Russian President Vladimir Putin is “banking” on Washington failing to deliver for Kiev, the US leader warned
US approaching end of Ukraine aid – Biden

Washington is approaching the end of its ability to provide military aid to Kiev, US President Joe Biden has warned. He urged lawmakers to approve more assistance for Ukraine before Congress goes into holiday recess in less than a week.

Biden met with his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky in the Oval Office on Tuesday and promised that he “will not walk away from Ukraine, and neither will the American people.”

Kiev will emerge from its conflict with Moscow “proud, free, and firmly rooted in the West unless we walk away,” he predicted.

During the meeting, the US leader unilaterally announced another military aid package of $200 million for Ukraine, which includes air defense interceptors, artillery, and ammunition. However, the sum is comparatively insignificant compared to the $111 billion in military and economic assistance that Washington has already provided to Kiev since February 2022.

“Without supplemental funding, we are rapidly coming to an end of our ability to help Ukraine respond to the urgent operational demands that it has,” he said.

The Biden administration’s attempts to push through a $106 billion ‘national security package’ for Ukraine and Israel have been facing stiff resistance from hardline Republican lawmakers, who have demanded stricter immigration control on the southern US border in exchange for approving the bill.

This “small number of Republicans… don't speak for the majority of even Republicans,” the president claimed. He said the talks with the lawmakers to resolve the deadlock are continuing, adding that he was “hopeful we can get there, and I think we can.”

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is banking on the US failing to deliver for Ukraine. We must prove him wrong,” Biden insisted.

Congress needs to pass more funding for Ukraine “before they break for the holiday recess before they give Putin the greatest Christmas gift they could possibly give him,” he added. However, as an Orthodox Christian, President Putin celebrates Christmas not on December 25 as is customary in the West, but on January 7.

Unnamed US officials told the New York Times earlier this week that Ukraine “will have to fight on a tighter budget” from now on. The sources also blamed the leadership in Kiev for having “unrealistic expectations about what the US will supply” and asking for military aid packages that “do not exist.”

According to the officials, after the failure of Kiev’s counteroffensive, Washington wants Kiev to focus on holding onto the territory it still controls while building up forces and supplies over the next year.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies will only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO. Russian officials have also argued that the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing, and training of Ukrainian troops means that the Western nations have already become de facto parties to the conflict.