ANI Photo | Biden meets Zelenskyy at White House, calls on Congress to pass funding to Ukraine

US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, met at the White House on Tuesday (local time). Biden called on the Congress to pass supplemental funding to Ukraine before they take break for holidays, ABC News reported.
biden meets zelenskyy at white house calls on congress to pass funding to ukraine 1 – The News Mill
Seated in the Oval Office alongside Zelenskyy, Biden said, “Congress needs to pass supplemental funding to Ukraine before they break for holiday recess, before they give [Vladimir] Putin the greatest Christmas gift they can possibly give him.”
“And because we’ve seen what happens when dictators don’t pay the price for the damage and the death and the destruction they cause. They keep going, when no price is paid,” he added, according to ABC News report.
The aid package requested by the White House has stalled on Capitol Hill as Republicans call for changes in border security and immigration policy in exchange for the passage of funding for Ukraine, according to ABC News report.
Zelenskyy also urged Congressional leaders to allow the passage of funding for Ukraine. However, Republican lawmakers emerged from the closed-door talks seemingly undeterred by tying the aid to significant border changes.
Biden also announced a USD 200 million military package under the Presidential Drawdown Authority. Zelenskyy thanked the US and other partners for their support and called it a “special day” for Ukraine, with almost 600,000 soldiers now fighting in the ongoing war against Russia.
Zelenskyy said, “This is their day, and they prove every day that Ukraine can win.” As Zelenskyy arrived in the White House, Biden warmly greeted him. Biden thanked the US for its “unwavering support” for Ukraine. Notably, the US has been offering military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine ever since the war between Kyiv and Moscow started.
Taking to X, Zelenskyy stated, “I am glad to be back at the White House and meeting with @POTUS Joe Biden. I am grateful to the U.S. for its unwavering support for Ukraine, including USD 200 million military aid package announced today. In the Black Sea, we defeated the Russian fleet.
“Our maritime exports have resumed, bolstering both our economy, which is now growing at 5 per cent, and global food security. We are moving in the right direction, and in our talks with President Biden today, we are discussing ways forward. We have clear and attainable priorities for 2024, including depriving Russia of its air superiority and thwarting its offensive operations; jointly producing arms; and using frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine. Freedom must be well-armed and well-defended,” he added.
Before meeting Zelenskyy, Biden stated that he looked forward to meeting Zelenskyy. Zelenskyy arrived in Washington on Tuesday at a critical moment, as the White House has warned that US aid to Ukraine could imminently dry up and talks over new assistance remain stalled in Congress, according to CNN report.
“I look forward to welcoming President Zelenskyy of Ukraine back to the White House today. You’ve heard me say before that we stand at an inflection point in history, and that is still true. To stand with Ukraine is to stand with freedom. We can’t and won’t let Putin succeed,” Biden posted on X.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a one-to-one meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson on Tuesday, which lasted for roughly 30 minutes, CNN reported.
Mike Johnson said he had a “good” meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, CNN reported. However, he remained firm in his stance that the US needs to address the border first before advancing on an aid bill.
After the meeting, Johnson said, “From the very beginning, when I was handed the gavel, we needed clarity on what we’re doing in Ukraine and how we’ll have proper oversight of the spending of precious taxpayer dollars, and we needed a transformative change at the border. Thus far, we’ve gotten neither” and called the border an “absolute catastrophe,” CNN reported.
Mike Johnson stated that the “first condition on any national security supplemental spending package is about our own national security first.” He stressed that the White House has not been able to articulate a plan that helps Ukraine secure victory and criticised the US Senate for being “MIA.”
He further said, “The House passed HR 2 six months ago, more than six months ago. It’s been sitting and collecting dust on Chuck Schumer’s desk.” He insisted that the issue is with the White House and Senate and called on them to do their job.

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