Joe Biden Calls Shaken US Allies to Reassure on Ukraine Aid – News18

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President Joe Biden called Western allies Tuesday to reassure them that the United States will stand fast on Ukraine, after Republican hardliners derailed funding for US aid to help Kyiv’s war effort.

Biden spoke with the leaders of Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, and of the EU and NATO, along with the foreign minister of France, the White House said.

“President Biden convened a call this morning with allies and partners to coordinate our ongoing support for Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement, adding that more details would be released later.

Washington has been scrambling to calm shaken allies after an 11th-hour deal in the US Congress to avoid a government funding shutdown on Saturday contained no new aid for war-torn Ukraine.

After Tuesday’s call, the allies rushed to show a united front with Biden, whose country is by far the largest supplier of aid to Ukraine as it battles Russia’s invasion.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s office said Biden was “keen to reassure the allies about the continuing American support for Ukraine, also following the recent decisions of the US Congress.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak “thanked President Biden for convening the call” and for his “leadership,” adding that Western support would continue for “as long as it takes.”

NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg said the call was “good” while EU chief Charles Michel said the allies “stand united.”

But Russia has pounced on the chaos in Washington, with the Kremlin saying on Monday that Western war fatigue would grow amid the uncertainty over US assistance for Ukraine.

The bill passed on Saturday to avoid a US government shutdown dropped all mention of Ukraine aid amid opposition from hard-right Republicans.

– ‘Keep their word’ –

Democrat Biden has called for Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to rush through new aid, saying that US support for Kyiv could not be interrupted “under any circumstances.”

“Speaker McCarthy and the majority of House Republicans must keep their word and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine as it defends itself,” Biden said on X, formerly Twitter, earlier Tuesday.

“We are the indispensable nation in the world — let’s act like it.”

Biden has also warned that time is short before existing funding runs out.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir was “wrong” if he believes Moscow will be able to outlast Ukraine and its allies.

She added that the United States would soon announce new assistance for the Ukrainian armed forces, which will be drawn from a $113 billion budget already approved by Congress.

But the disruption in an ever-more divided US political scene could upend moves to pass the fresh $6 billion in aid that Biden had been seeking.

McCarthy was fighting for his political life Tuesday ahead of a vote seeking to oust him from his role as House speaker, forced by the far-right of his party that has put stopping aid to Ukraine at the top of its agenda.

The chaos comes right after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington in September to plead for continued backing as his forces fight in a slow-moving counteroffensive against Russian forces that invaded in February 2022.

Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, recently estimated the amount of military assistance provided to Kyiv since Russia’s invasion at $47 billion.

The US Congress has approved a total of $113 billion in aid for Ukraine but opposition among hardline Republicans has been spreading, including to some voters.

An ABC/Washington Post poll released September 24 showed 41 percent of respondents saying the United States was doing too much to support Ukraine, up from 33 percent in February and just 14 percent in April 2022.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)

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