| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Zelenskyy arrives in US to plead for continued Ukraine war aid

On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was scheduled to deliver a final appeal for US assistance before it expires this year. Republicans have contended that the US ought to stop offering unrestricted support to Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.

After being introduced by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Zelenskyy—who spent the weekend in Argentina—was scheduled to give a speech at the National Defense University in Washington at 12:00 p.m. (1700 GMT), according to the Pentagon.

On Tuesday, Zelenskyy was scheduled to meet with President Joe Biden at the White House and also with congressional leaders — including the recently elected Republican leader of the House of Representatives, where the mood on the far-right of the party has turned sharply against Ukraine.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Zelenskyy’s visit would “underscore the United States’ unshakeable commitment” to Ukraine, which in February will enter its third year of battling an all-out invasion attempt by Russia.

Throughout the bloody conflict, which has seen swaths of Ukraine destroyed and millions driven from their homes, Ukrainian forces have depended heavily on a US-led coalition of countries delivering tens of billions of dollars in ammunition, weaponry, and economic and social aid.

Now the flow of US aid — described by Biden as part of an existential fight between the democratic world and President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive autocracy — is on the verge of drying up.

Republican senators last week blocked a White House request for $106 billion in emergency aid primarily for Ukraine and Israel.

Conservatives said they would refuse the package for the close foreign allies if Democrats and the White House didn’t also agree to far-ranging immigration reforms targeting security on the politically sensitive US-Mexican border.

More broadly, the Republican right-wing, led by 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump, has dramatically soured against Ukraine’s cause.

  • alarabiya