Biden Expresses Confidence on $60bn Ukraine War Aid Package Vote


US President Joe Biden has reassured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that $60bn in military aid is forthcoming. The aid package still requires final congressional approval, but Biden expressed confidence in its passage. Zelensky had previously appealed for additional weapons to prevent a “catastrophic” situation in Europe. The US attributed Ukraine’s retreat from the battle at Avdiivka to insufficient Congressional support.

Avdiivka’s capture by Russia marked their first significant gain since seizing nearby Bakhmut in May. A White House statement explained that the Ukrainian military was compelled to withdraw from Avdiivka due to dwindling ammunition supplies, a result of congressional inaction.

Earlier this week, the US Senate approved a $95bn foreign aid package, including $60bn for Ukraine, after months of political debate. However, the package faces opposition in the House of Representatives, with Republican Party members divided on the issue.

Biden expressed his commitment to supporting Ukraine during a call with Zelensky, criticizing the idea of abandoning Ukraine when they are running low on ammunition. Zelensky also urged US lawmakers to approve the financial package, expressing gratitude for Biden’s support.

Zelensky, while in Germany, reiterated his appeal for more weapons to prevent a dire situation in Europe. He emphasized Ukraine’s dependence on weapons supplies from Western allies to continue fighting against Russia’s superior military force.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron asserted that assistance from the UK, EU, and US would significantly impact Ukraine’s fight against Russia. However, Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko expressed disappointment with American leadership, questioning their commitment to supporting Ukraine.

The town of Avdiivka has been a battleground since 2014 and its fall to Russia marks a significant shift in the front line since Russian troops seized Bakhmut in May 2023. Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, celebrated Russia’s territorial gain. Meanwhile, Gen Oleksandr Syrskyi, head of the Ukrainian armed forces, defended the decision to withdraw from Avdiivka to avoid encirclement and protect the lives of service personnel.

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