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Biden expresses confidence in renewal of US war aid to Ukraine during call with Zelensky

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President Joe Biden assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a conversation on Saturday that he is “confident” the US Congress will approve renewed military aid for Ukraine. Biden, speaking to reporters after attending church in Delaware, emphasized the importance of American assistance, warning that without it, Kyiv could face further territorial losses to Russian advances.

Biden condemned the potential failure of US lawmakers to approve new funding for military aid to Ukraine as “absurd” and “unethical,” pledging to advocate vigorously for the necessary resources. The president stressed the urgency of the situation, stating, “I’m going to fight to get them the ammunition they need.”

The phone call between Biden and Zelensky occurred shortly after Russia captured the eastern Ukrainian stronghold of Avdiivka, a significant symbolic victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Avdiivka, which now lies mostly in ruins, had symbolized Ukraine’s resilient resistance to Russian aggression since 2014.

According to a statement from the White House, Ukrainian forces withdrew from Avdiivka due to dwindling ammunition supplies, a consequence of congressional inaction on military aid. Biden expressed concern to reporters that without additional US support, other Ukrainian cities could fall to Russian forces.

The delay in approving military aid is attributed to opposition from allies of former President Donald Trump in the House of Representatives, who have stalled a $60 billion aid package. Trump, the likely Republican nominee in the upcoming presidential election, has consistently opposed assistance to Kyiv and recently exerted influence to block a US border reform bill that included provisions for aid to Ukraine.

Following the phone call, Zelensky expressed gratitude for Biden’s support in a post on Telegram, stating, “I am glad that I can count on the full support of the American president. We also believe in the wise decision of the US Congress.” Biden’s reassurance to Zelensky coincided with efforts by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to reassure Western allies at the Munich Security Conference of continued US support for Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression. Harris emphasized the necessity of unwavering support for Ukraine, asserting, “As it relates to our support for Ukraine, we must be unwavering and we cannot play political games.”

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