In Washington Visit, Zelensky Will Try to Shore Up Critical Support

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine plans to make his second wartime go to to Washington on Thursday, assembly with President Biden and congressional lawmakers as he tries to protect his nation’s most crucial supply of funding and weapons.

Mr. Biden shall be wanting to get a “battlefield perspective” on the warfare from Mr. Zelensky, mentioned John F. Kirby, a White House spokesman. The Ukrainian president, who was in New York this week rallying assist on the U.N. General Assembly, additionally plans to go to Capitol Hill and the Pentagon.

The go to comes at a vital second within the warfare, with Ukraine’s battle in opposition to Russian invaders heading into the tough winter months.

But it additionally comes as polls have detected a rising weariness over the warfare among the many American public, which is targeted on issues at house, and as dozens of Republicans say they’re opposed to Mr. Biden’s newest request for $24 billion for added army and humanitarian help for Ukraine.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whose place is imperiled by an extreme-right faction of his celebration that opposes Ukraine help, plans to have a personal assembly with Mr. Zelensky, however is not going to convene a discussion board for him to tackle members on Thursday.

“Where is the accountability on the money we already spent?” Mr. McCarthy advised reporters on Tuesday. “What is the plan for victory? I think that’s what the American public wants to know.”

Mr. Biden has made assist for Ukraine a centerpiece of his international coverage, arguing that it’s critical to American nationwide safety. He has continued to present help utilizing beforehand accredited funds, and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III introduced this week that American M1 Abrams tanks could be arriving in Ukraine quickly.

Ukraine has been lobbying for the United States to provide a strong weapon known as the Army Tactical Missile System, often called ATACMS (pronounced like “attack ’ems”), which Mr. Kirby mentioned was not off the desk.

ATACMS, which might strike targets 190 miles away with a warhead containing about 375 kilos of explosives, may assist Kyiv regain Crimea, part of the nation Russia seized in 2014. But the United States has expressed fears about escalation.

“We’re trying to avoid World War III,” Mr. Biden has mentioned.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Kirby defended the weaponry the United States already has offered to Ukraine.

“We’ve evolved the capabilities as the war has evolved, as the needs evolve, and that has had a significant impact on the Ukrainians’ ability to defend themselves and to advance in this counteroffensive,” he mentioned.

“The progress that they are making, though not as far or as fast as they themselves have said they’d like to go, is not by accident. It’s absolutely due in great measure to their bravery and skill on the battlefield. But it is also due, in no small way, to the support that the United States has provided them.”

Mr. Zelensky will encounter a unique political local weather than he discovered throughout his go to to Washington final yr, when he acquired a hero’s welcome and an invite from Nancy Pelosi, then the House speaker, to give a prime-time tackle to a joint session of Congress.

During that go to, Mr. Zelensky emerged from the Oval Office with a vow from Mr. Biden that the United States would proceed to assist Ukraine “for as long as it takes.”

On Thursday, House lawmakers who need to hear immediately from Mr. Zelensky may have to go away Capitol Hill. Members of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus and others are anticipated to meet with him on the National Archives on Thursday.

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the bulk chief, has organized a closed-door session within the Capitol for all 100 senators.

Mr. McCarthy has mentioned he plans to press Mr. Zelensky on how Ukraine is spending the help the United States has offered up to now — earlier this yr, Mr. McCarthy declined Mr. Zelensky’s invitation to go to Ukraine to see for himself — as a federal spending battle in Congress threatens to tie up the White House’s funding request and shut down the federal government.

Mr. Kirby mentioned the White House was assured that it might proceed to see sturdy assist for Ukraine.

“There is no such thing as a blank check for Ukraine, because every single thing that we’re providing to Ukraine is done in full consultation with members of Congress,” he mentioned.

As Mr. Biden tries to safe the brand new funding, the 2024 election is looming.

Former President Donald J. Trump, the front-runner to be the Republican nominee, may make the warfare a central problem within the marketing campaign.

At a rally over the summer season, he mentioned Congress ought to refuse to send any more weapons till the F.B.I., I.R.S. and Justice Department “hand over every scrap of evidence they have on the Biden crime family’s corrupt business dealings.”

Polls additionally counsel assist is softening amongst Americans. A current CNN poll discovered that almost all Americans believed that Congress mustn’t authorize extra funding to assist the warfare.

Karoun Demirjian contributed reporting.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button