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Zelenskyy meets with Biden amidst aid debate and rising tensions

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to engage in crucial discussions in Washington, DC, with US President Joe Biden and House Speaker Mike Johnson on Monday.

The focus is on sustaining US support for Ukraine’s defense, especially given the challenges posed by Russia’s full-scale invasion. Despite Biden’s efforts to secure a $106 billion military aid plan, right-wing Republicans are resisting, tying the aid to immigration reforms.

Zelenskyy’s visit includes a private meeting with Speaker Johnson, who has sought to link Ukraine aid to US border reforms. Biden warns of the repercussions of weakened support, emphasizing the risk of broader conflicts if Russia advances further into Ukraine. Discussions will encompass defense cooperation, joint projects on weaponry, and air defense systems.

While the White House aims to bolster support as Russia intensifies attacks, skepticism persists among Republicans. Senator JD Vance opposes what he calls a “blank cheque” for Ukraine, suggesting accepting territorial concessions to end the war. As Western resolve on Ukraine falters, recent setbacks include Kyiv’s June offensive and increased Russian troop deployments and aerial assaults.

Ukraine’s Air Force reports downing eight Russian missiles aimed at Kyiv, heightening tensions. The White House labels the meeting as pivotal amid escalating missile and drone strikes by Russia.

The US State Department has allocated a $175 million aid tranche, emphasizing Ukraine’s commendable defense efforts. Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscores the strategic choice to support Ukraine or risk Moscow’s interests, highlighting the significance of continued assistance in the face of escalating threats.

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