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USA. Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit. “You can count on Ukraine”

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You can count on Ukraine, I hope I can count on you, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday during a speech at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington. Zelensky is scheduled to meet with President Joe Biden on Tuesday, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Ukraine she hasn’t given up and she won’t give up. We know what to do. You can count on Ukraine and I hope that we can equally count on you, Zelensky said during his first speech during his visit to Washington.

The Ukrainian president who came to the American capital to lobby for further support USA for Ukraine, he repeatedly referred to the ongoing debates in Congress about the aid package for his country. He noted that suspending aid to Ukraine would be a dream come true Vladimir Putin and that he is happy about further delays in this matter.

Volodymyr Zelensky visits the USA Reuters

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– Each of you with command experience knows what it means that instead of moving forward, you just watch and wait for armor and other equipment, when your enemy is satisfied and preparing to attack (…) When they tell you that security life must wait because some more debate is needed, Zelensky said. He added that during Tuesday’s meetings at the Capitol and the White House, he intends to present Ukraine’s goals for the next year, including “pushing” Russia from the front lines, as well as from the shipping lanes in the Black Sea, where – as he said – Ukraine has already won.

What about further assistance to Ukraine? There is an ongoing dispute in the US CongressMonika Krajewska/Fakty TVN

Part of Putin’s broader fight

The Ukrainian president presented Putin’s aggression against his country as just one element of a broader fight by Putin and his allies in Tehran, North Korea and Hamas against the free world and “a springboard to behave like that old empire that died in 1989.” He added that Putin’s current weapons against the United States are disinformation and propaganda – and that he is looking for allies in America. And “if he sees a chance, he will go further,” Zelensky said.

– Now he is putting the Russian economy and society on what he calls war tracks. Unfortunately, he had time to do it. But the direction in which these war lines lead is clear, Zelensky noted. However, he emphasized that Ukraine can stop Russia without having to engage a single US soldier.

The head of the Pentagon, who appeared before Zelensky, also drew attention to the need for further support for Ukraine and the benefits it has gained so far Lloyd Austin. – Putin still believes that he can wait out Ukraine and wait out America. But he is wrong (…) America’s obligations must be honored. America’s security must be defended. America’s word must be kept, he stressed.

The US Senate rejected the package for Ukraine. "Russia believes that America and Europe will show weakness"

The US Senate rejected the package for Ukraine. “Russia believes that America and Europe will show weakness”Andrzej Zaucha/Fakty TVN

Meeting with Biden

Earlier on Monday, the US Ministry of Defense announced that, as part of his visit to the US, Zelensky will be received by the Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate – Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, and then he will deliver a speech in the upper house of the US Congress.

Zelensky is also scheduled to meet with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican Mike Johnson.

After visiting Congress, Zelensky will go to the White House, where he will talk with the president Joe Biden. “The two leaders will discuss Ukraine’s urgent needs and the critical importance of continued U.S. support at this critical moment,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Volodymyr Zelensky and Joe Biden in the White House. Photo from September 22 president.gov.ua

Aid package blocked

The Ukrainian president’s visit to Washington comes at a time when the fate of further U.S. support for Ukraine is being weighed in Congress. Over the past month, several delegations from Ukraine have visited Washington to lobby for parliament to pass a package containing more than $61 billion in aid spending for Ukraine.

This package was blocked last week by Republicans in the Senate, who make support for it conditional on an additional tightening of immigration policy. Talks on this topic are ongoing, but their outcome is uncertain, even though the majority of members in both houses support further assistance to Kiev.

Biden: If Putin takes Ukraine, he won't stop there

Biden: If Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop thereReuters

“This is the perfect time”

“We will announce the next tranche of arms for Ukraine before the end of the year,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Monday. He added that the visit of the Ukrainian president comes at a good time to unblock the impasse regarding the package of funds for further assistance to Ukraine.

– This is the perfect time (…) because of what is happening in Ukraine, the increased activity of the Russian armed forces in the face of the upcoming winter, but also because of what is happening on Capitol Hill – Kirby said during a briefing on board Air Force One, referring to Zelensky’s Tuesday meetings at the White House and on Capitol Hill.

Kirby emphasized that Biden and Zelensky’s talks will focus on these topics. Asked whether President Biden would be able to promise his Ukrainian counterpart continued aid, Kirby did not answer directly, but added that Biden would certainly continue to advocate strongly for it. He also announced that he expects to announce another arms package for Ukraine later this year. The last one was announced last week.

Advocate of the Ukrainian cause

White House deputy spokesman Andrew Bates added that President Zelensky is the best advocate of the Ukrainian cause and hopes that he will break the impasse in Congress regarding the additional money necessary to finance further support for Ukraine.

Main photo source: Reuters

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