No Aid for Ukraine Would Be a Gift to Russia, Biden Says as Zelensky Visits


President Biden warned on Tuesday that Russia was celebrating American division over offering help to Ukraine, as President Volodymyr Zelensky hit a wall of resistance from congressional Republicans throughout a daylong lobbying blitz in Washington.

Talking from the White Home with Mr. Zelensky by his facet, Mr. Biden mentioned failing to assist Ukraine can be a present to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

“Putin is banking on america failing to ship for Ukraine,” Mr. Biden mentioned on the White Home. “We should, we should, we should show him flawed.”

Republican leaders in Congress have insisted that any help for Ukraine be paired with tighter safety on the southern border, arguing that the migrant disaster had develop into a risk to nationwide safety.

However even Republican supporters of extra help for Ukraine appeared to have given up a lot hope of approving it earlier than Congress heads dwelling for the vacations.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the highest Republican, recommended that the hassle was all however useless for the yr, saying it will be “virtually unattainable” to rapidly go a deal that ties collectively help for Ukraine with the sort of border safety bundle that Republicans are demanding.

The hassle by the 2 leaders comes at what could also be Ukraine’s most susceptible level within the battle because it beat again Russia’s preliminary invasion within the winter and spring of 2022. Whereas america has provided tens of billions of dollars in aid since then, Ukraine’s prime navy commander, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, mentioned final month that the battle had reached a stalemate, as lethal battles yielded few territorial positive factors.

The White Home and Kyiv have argued that if Ukraine loses the battle, Mr. Putin can be emboldened to advance his navy aggression deeper into the West.

Mr. Biden accused Republicans of holding navy help to Ukraine “hostage” in change for “an excessive Republican partisan agenda on the border.” He cited the feedback of Russian broadcasters praising Republicans for refusing to approve the Ukraine help.

“This host of a Kremlin-run present mentioned: ‘Properly carried out, Republicans. That’s good for us,’” Mr. Biden informed reporters at a short information convention. “Should you’re being celebrated by Russian propagandists, it may be time to rethink what you’re doing. Historical past, historical past will decide harshly those that flip their again on freedom’s trigger.”

The possibilities of Congress passing an help bundle for Ukraine earlier than the tip of the yr have grown bleak, after Republicans blocked the measure last week and polls confirmed People have been skeptical of extending monetary assist.

Senators instantly concerned within the negotiations reported some progress, however there was no signal {that a} deal was imminent.

Mr. Biden on Tuesday, nonetheless, sought to current an air of confidence about his chief overseas coverage objectives. He mentioned his prime aides have been working towards “a bipartisan compromise” that might fulfill either side.

“We additionally want Congress to repair the damaged immigration system right here at dwelling,” Mr. Biden mentioned in a nod to Republicans.

After assembly behind closed doorways with Mr. Biden on the White Home, Mr. Zelensky thanked america for coming to Ukraine’s help, however mentioned the assist should proceed.

“It’s crucial that by the tip of this yr we are able to ship very sturdy sign of our unity to the aggressor and the unity of Ukraine, America, Europe, your entire free world,” Mr. Zelensky mentioned.

Left intentionally obscure on the information convention was any estimate of how lengthy the present finances for arms for Ukraine can final. Mr. Biden signed off on a $200 million supply throughout the go to, utilizing funds from previous congressional appropriations. However the measurement and frequency of the American-provided arms provide have diminished.

Quietly, American officers are searching for different choices if Congress fails to behave, from emergency allocations licensed by Mr. Biden to seizing Russian property caught within the West and utilizing them for armaments.

Senior American officers have had appreciable frustration coping with Mr. Zelensky and his generals. They’ve been pressing for a new strategy, one they’ll inform Congress will flip the tide. Mr. Zelensky, one official mentioned final week, was evolving towards an method that centered on the protection of Kyiv, protections round key industrial facilities and a pathway to the Black Sea to broaden grain exports.

These choices are being war-gamed in Germany this month and subsequent, in hopes of arising with an method for 2024 that would cut back the horrific bloodshed and go away Mr. Zelensky in a stronger negotiating place.

In Washington, Speaker Mike Johnson accused the White Home of failing to articulate a transparent path to Ukraine’s victory, which Republicans have additionally mentioned is a essential situation to unlocking navy help. Mr. Johnson has voted repeatedly in opposition to aiding Ukraine.

There was no signal that the go to by Mr. Zelensky — who only a yr in the past acquired a hero’s welcome from Congress — had carried out something to interrupt the deadlock over help.

“Our first situation on any nationwide safety supplemental spending bundle is about our personal nationwide safety,” Mr. Johnson informed reporters shortly after noting that he had “reiterated” to Mr. Zelensky that “we stand with him in opposition to Putin’s brutal invasion.”

Throughout Mr. Zelensky’s assembly with senators, a lot of Republicans informed him instantly that securing the U.S. border with Mexico was the important thing to acquiring help for his nation.

“I informed President Zelensky, ‘Right here’s the issue: It’s bought nothing to do with you,’” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, informed reporters after the session.

Congressional leaders are toying with the concept of attempting to maintain Congress in session subsequent week to maintain attempting to hash out a deal on Ukraine funding and border safety. However it’s unclear if one other few days can be sufficient time to strike such a cut price.

“They are saying it’s an emergency at each the border and in Ukraine?” Senator Chuck Schumer, the bulk chief, informed reporters. “You don’t go dwelling for 3 weeks. You don’t say ‘we are able to put it off for 3 weeks’ if it’s an emergency.”

The White Home additionally appeared to develop into extra instantly concerned in negotiations, dispatching White Home officers and the homeland safety secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, to satisfy with negotiators on Capitol Hill.

However Congress appeared no nearer to reaching consensus on an settlement that features immigration, one of the contentious points in america. Whereas the White Home has signaled assist for some asylum restrictions, Republicans are additionally pushing to broaden fast deportations nationwide.

At a information convention on Tuesday, Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, mentioned her celebration wouldn’t comply with “a partisan want listing of everlasting, far-right overhauls to immigration coverage.”

“It sends a harmful message when one-half of the Senate is concentrated on pitting allies and crises in opposition to one another as political bargaining chips,” she mentioned.

Kayla Guo, Robert Jimison and David E. Sanger contributed reporting.



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