Ukraine’s leader arrives at US Congress where he must convince Republican lawmakers to continue giving aid after Poland axed weapon supplies in boost for Putin

  • Zelensky needs extra funding and navy aid to preserve counteroffensive
  • But US lawmakers, notably Republicans, are reluctant to approve funding
  • Comes as Polish PM mentioned his authorities will not ship weapons to Kyiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived at US Congress where he will attempt to convince Republican lawmakers to continue offering aid to Kyiv amid skepticism over his nation’s skill to combat off the Russian invasion. 

Zelensky’s conferences will even embrace Democrats, although it is an more and more outspoken wing of the Republican occasion, particularly in the House of Representatives, that’s cautious of spending extra funds for the struggle effort towards Russia.

Biden has pledged to stand by Kyiv it doesn’t matter what – not least as his 2024 reelection marketing campaign portrays his help for Ukraine as demonstrating his international management. 

But doubts are rising over the way forward for US help, with hardline Republicans saying they will not approve funding to stop a US authorities shutdown if it contains aid for Ukraine.

Zelensky’s journey to Washington – his second throughout wartime – is a dramatic departure from the primary in December 2022, when he secretly flew in and obtained a hero’s welcome at the White House and on Capitol Hill. 

This time he is determined to drum up help and win over skeptical lawmakers, insisting that Kyiv wants continued funding in addition to a beefing up of air defences after Moscow hit Ukraine with one other barrage of missiles in a single day. 

The Ukrainian leader is underneath added stress to safe US help after Poland sensationally declared it might not arm Ukraine amid a row over grain exports in a transfer positive to delight Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C), with US House of Representatives Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (L), arrives for conferences with members of Congress, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 21, 2023
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with US House of Representatives Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (C), arrives for conferences with members of Congress, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 21, 2023
Ukrainian servicemen smoke at their place close to the border with Belarus, amid Russia’s assault on Ukraine, in Zhytomyr area, Ukraine September 20, 2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles throughout the plenary session of the Eastern Econimic Forum, on September 12, 2023, in Vladivostok, Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 19, 2023

‘Today there are essential negotiations in Washington. Air defence for Ukraine is among the many high points,’ Zelensky mentioned on Telegram as he arrived from New York.

‘More air defence, extra help for Ukrainian troopers on the entrance strains.’

Zelensky slammed Moscow’s ‘huge’ in a single day assault that killed a number of folks in the southern metropolis of Kherson and wounded many in numerous areas.

‘Most of the missiles had been shot down. But solely the bulk. Not all,’ Zelensky mentioned.

Zelensky’s makes an attempt to woo Republican lawmakers come simply hours after Warsaw ended its provision of navy gear to Kyiv. 

‘We are not transferring weapons to Ukraine, as a result of we are actually arming Poland with extra fashionable weapons,’ Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki mentioned.

‘We had been the primary to do quite a bit for Ukraine and that is why we anticipate them to perceive our pursuits.

‘Of course we respect all of their issues, however for us, the pursuits of our farmers are crucial factor.’

Poland has been one in all Ukraine’s staunchest supporters after Russia invaded in February 2022 and has been one in all Kyiv’s important weapons suppliers. 

It additionally hosts some a million Ukrainian refugees, who’ve benefited from numerous sorts of state aid.

But tensions between Warsaw and Kyiv, sparked by Poland’s ban on Ukrainian grain imports to shield the pursuits of its farmers, have intensified in latest days.

Poland’s choice to finish navy aid to Ukraine got here after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared some nations are ‘solely pretending’ to help Kyiv in the combat towards Moscow.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki
South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-Soo, left, and his Polish host, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, proper, attend a press convention following talks on regional safety and the examination of the FA-50 fighter jets that Poland not too long ago purchased from South Korea
Zelensky is at present in Washington hoping to win contemporary aid to combat Russian invaders regardless of indicators of struggle fatigue amongst US lawmakers (Zelensky pictured at United Nations Headquarters on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 in New York City)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine closed off very important Black Sea delivery lanes used earlier than the struggle, which meant the EU, and Poland in specific, turned a serious transit route and export vacation spot for Ukrainian grain.

In May, the EU agreed to prohibit imports to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, searching for to shield farmers there who blamed the imports for a hunch in costs on native markets.

The measures allowed the merchandise to preserve transiting by the 5 nations, however stopped them being offered on the native market.

But final week, the European Commission mentioned it was ending the import ban, arguing that ‘the market distortions in the 5 member states bordering Ukraine have disappeared’.

Poland, Hungary and Slovakia instantly introduced they’d defy the transfer, with Warsaw reacting notably sensitively.

The present populist right-wing authorities of the Law and Justice occasion, which faces elections subsequent month, has robust help in farming areas.

Kyiv responded to warnings by Poland, Hungary and Slovakia by asserting that it might lodge a criticism with the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Morawiecki had warned earlier on Wednesday that he would lengthen the checklist of Ukrainian merchandise banned from import if Kyiv had been to escalate the grain dispute.

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