Zelensky to Plead for More US Aid in Imminent Biden Meeting

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An imminent meeting in the U.S. between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Joe Biden has been reported, with expectations being that the meeting will occur at the White House within the following week. Both leaders are also anticipated to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York during this period.

In addition to these engagements, it is said that President Zelensky plans to visit Capitol Hill to plead for more U.S. financial assistance to combat the Russian incursion into Ukraine. The U.S., as it stands, provides several billion dollars to support Ukraine’s military defenses.

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Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ukraine to disclose the recent financial aid package exceeding $1 billion. This package includes depleted uranium tank shells, an item the U.S previously stated would not be directed to Ukraine.

A month ago, President Biden urged Congress to allocate an additional $24 billion for Ukraine. Expected to deliver a speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Zelensky is reportedly also organizing meetings with other world leaders during his visit. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already confirmed his intention to meet with Zelensky while at the UN meetings.

On the Ukrainian front, reports suggest that Washington remains discontented with the slow progression of Ukraine’s offensive. This dissatisfaction, specifically with how Ukraine’s generals are navigating the war, has created some degree of strife between the two nations. Since June, Ukraine’s territorial acquisitions through their counter-offensive have been minimal, yet Ukrainian generals claim that Russia’s initial strong defenses in the south have been breached.

The stagnant state of the battlefield has intensified pressure on Ukraine to defend its claim for further aid, in addition to complicating its attempts to persuade Western benefactors to maintain the flow of supplies. This scenario unfolds alongside the growing number of U.S. Republicans expressing opposition to the continuous support for Ukraine. Some of these Republicans are potential Presidential candidates for the 2024 elections.

The latest in-person meeting between Biden and Zelensky occurred in Lithuania in July during a NATO summit. Prior to this, they met at the G7 summit in Japan in May. This will be Zelensky’s second U.S. visit during his tenure as the Ukrainian President, the first visit marked his initial international travel since the inception of the war and was carried out under the veil of secrecy due to safety concerns.

During his prior speech to Congress, Zelensky encouraged Americans to see their contributions not simply as “charity”, but rather a substantial “investment” in worldwide security.