Volodymyr Zelensky is taking a hard hit in Washington, where, despite unconditional support from Joe Biden and the announcement of a new arms package in Kiev, Republicans in the House of Representatives are blocking indefinite support for Ukraine, freezing expectations for the Ukrainian leader. And requests from the Supreme Commander.
“If we do not receive aid, we will lose the war.” It was Zelensky’s sincere plea to about 70 senators he met with the Democratic Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, and the Republican Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. The Ukrainian president, dressed in military uniform but wearing a T-shirt, thanked “senators and representatives for their support,” but avoided answering reporters’ questions. “We keep the details of our conversations to ourselves,” he announced dryly, without concealing a certain disappointment. The balance in the US Congress has changed compared to what it was nine months ago, and especially in the House of Representatives, the front of aid skeptics has become increasingly broader. Republican spokesman Kevin McCarthy was responsible for freezing Zelensky’s expectations and Biden’s requests by ruling out, or in any case not formally committing to putting approval of the $24 billion aid package on the agenda by the end of the year. As requested by the President. McCarthy attacked, saying: “We have our own financial problems to deal with. There are 10,000 people who just crossed the border and the president is only thinking” about Ukraine. Regarding the money in Kiev, the Speaker of Parliament has become increasingly hostage to a handful of Trump’s deputies, and not only that, and on the same day of Zelensky’s visit he suffered another defeat when a handful of Republicans overturned a procedural vote for the second time this week in favor of the vote. Push the defense spending bill. Another step towards the shutdown that Donald Trump asked his men to implement to drown out “corrupt Biden” and confiscate his money “for the sake of prosecutions against me.”
McCarthy also avoided taking photos with the Kiev leader and denied him a joint session of Congress under the pretext of lack of time. In short, the welcome was very different compared to December last year, when the Ukrainian leader was hailed as a hero. As if that was not enough, 23 Republican representatives and six senators wrote a letter to Biden criticizing the White House strategy on the war, describing it as “unclear.” He regretted the unlimited commitment to Kiev. After Capitol Hill, Zelensky moved to the Pentagon where he had a conversation with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with whom he laid a wreath at the 9/11 Memorial and assessed the situation for the counterattack. The Ukrainian president’s intense day in the US capital at the White House ended with a meeting with Biden, the sixth in person between the two. In the Oval Office, the Commander-in-Chief announced his intention to send the new weapons package, and it would naturally be subject to Congressional approval, which today seems very distant. While reiterating his support for Kiev “for as long as necessary,” Biden disappointed Zelensky again by not including the coveted Atakm missiles, the long-range missiles the Ukrainian military will need to defend itself against attacks, on the new weapons list. . In the declared package there are actually “large air defense systems”, but for the umpteenth time, there are no army tactical missile systems. “
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed: “No decisions have been made yet, but they are not out of the question.” Officially, the Pentagon says the United States does not have enough to share with its allies and, moreover, they will not do so. Ballistic missiles could make a difference for the Ukrainians at this moment in the war, and in fact Washington’s real fear is that these missiles could be used to attack Russian territory with unimaginable consequences for Ukraine and the world.
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