US President Joe Biden announces $200 mill aid for Ukraine amid ongoing conflict with Russia

Ukraine-Russia-US. Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskyy meet in Washington. Photo Courtesy: Volodymyr Zelenskyy X page

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IBNS: US President Joe Biden has announced $200 million in pre-approved aid for Ukraine following his meeting with the country’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his visit to Washington on Tuesday (December 12, 2023).

Speaking to reporters, Biden said: “I just signed another $200 million drawdown from the Department of Defense for Ukraine, and that will be coming quickly.”

The latest tranche of assistance came as the Ukrainian president visited the White House and Capitol Hill to make the case for additional US support as an aid package with billions in funds for the war-torn country stalls amid partisan disagreements over immigration policies, reported NBC News.

Biden said: “Congress needs to pass the supplemental funding for Ukraine before they break for the holiday recess — before they give Putin the greatest Christmas gift they could possibly give him.  And so — because we’ve seen what happens when dictators don’t pay the price for the damage and the death and the destruction they cause, and they keep going when no price is paid.”

“The threats to America, to Europe, and the world will only keep rising if we don’t act.  And I intend that we act,” he said.

He said: “The American people, Democrats and Republicans alike, I think, understand this, and they understand the very real fight that’s going on right now.”

Zelenskyy said Ukraine is gradually becoming less dependent on aid.

“And I want to discuss with the President how — how to strengthen it, especially in enhancing our air defense and ability to destroy Russia’s logistics,” he said.

“We also need to work faster with the frozen Russian assets — over $300 billion frozen assets from terrorists — and we should use it to protect against Russian terror,” he said.

Zelenskyy told NBC News after the news conference that his meetings with lawmakers were helpful in that he got a chance to offer a detailed explanation of progress in his country’s war against Russia.

“I think we had a very good meeting with the senators,” Zelenskyy said, surrounded by security guards in green uniforms as he left the Hall of the States building following an appearance on Fox News. “And we spoke with both parties represented. I think they didn’t know all the details about what was going on in the battlefield.

“Yes, they recognised that we had really good success on the Black Sea against Russian ships, and it’s very good,” he continued.

Zelenskyy also described his meeting with Biden as a positive one. Asked if he believed Ukraine would win the war, he said: “Yes, of course.”

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) has verified 10,065 civilians killed and a further 18,679 injured since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

The actual figures, however, could be much higher.

Over 10 million have been forced to flee their homes, including over 6.3 million who have sought refuge outside Ukraine.