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Biden Hosts Zelensky at White House, Reiterates Need for Congress to Approve Ukraine Aid

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House, where he reiterated the need for Congress to approve his administration’s request for more money to help Ukraine defeat Russia.

Seated in the Oval Office alongside his Ukrainian counterpart and speaking before the press, Biden called the moment right now “a real inflection point in history,” adding that “Congress needs to pass the supplemental funding for Ukraine before they break for the holiday recess.”

He said lawmakers on Capitol Hill failing to approve the over 60 billion dollars in assistance for Kiev would mean giving Russia “the greatest Christmas gift.”

Proposed as early as late October by Biden, the entirety of the supplemental budget request is still being blocked by Republicans in both the Senate and the House, with the GOP members conditioning the Ukraine aid on Democrats satisfying their demand for stepped-up measures on border security.

Zelensky, on his third trip to Washington since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out in February 2022, thanked the United States for its support and pleaded for the American people’s confidence that Ukraine “can win.”

The Ukrainian leader also alluded to an agreement reached between him and Biden during his last visit in Washington in September that the United States and Ukraine will collaborate on joint weapon production. “We’ll discuss how to speed this up,” Zelensky said.

Before journalists were asked to be escorted out of the room so that Biden and Zelensky could start their formal bilateral talks, Biden informed them that he just signed another drawdown of weapons for Ukraine using his presidential authority.

Per Biden’s direction, the Department of Defense will provide an additional package of weapons and equipment worth 200 million U.S. dollars.

Before meeting Biden, Zelensky was on Capitol Hill, meeting with lawmakers to advocate for more aid to his country.