The White House said President Putin could win the war in Ukraine if the U.S
Aid is drying up on an evening full of stark warnings as Congress tries to agree on new funding.
“Congress must decide whether to continue to support the fight for freedom in Ukraine … or whether Congress will ignore the lessons we have learned from history and let Putin prevail,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday reporters.
“It’s that simple. It’s such a stark decision.”
President Joe Biden’s budget director, Shalanda Young, said in a blunt letter to Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson that drying up military aid would “bring Kiev’s fight against the Russian invasion to its knees,” AFP reports.
Democrat Biden asked Congress in October for a massive $106 billion national security package, including military aid for Ukraine and for Israel’s war against Hamas, but the funding got stuck in disagreements on Capitol Hill.
“There is no magic pot of funding to meet this moment. We are out of money – and almost out of time,” Young wrote.
“Disrupting the flow of U.S. weapons and equipment will bring Ukraine to its knees on the battlefield, not only endangering Ukraine’s gains but also increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories.”
Ukraine is desperate for more Western help as Russian forces step up their winter attacks after Kiev’s summer counteroffensive stalled.
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The Russian Defense Ministry said the attack was “foiled” and reported no damage or casualties on the peninsula, which is frequently attacked by Ukraine.
But Congress has been paralyzed for months by Republican infighting, with far-right lawmakers notably opposed to any further aid to Kiev as the war enters its third year.
Democratic U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address a secret, closed news conference for senators on Tuesday via a secure video link.
Schumer called on all senators to attend the press conference “so we can hear directly from him exactly what this vote is about.”
Speaker Johnson, who took office in October after his predecessor was overthrown in a right-wing coup, reacted coolly to the White House letter.
“The Biden administration has failed to substantively address one of the legitimate concerns of my conference regarding the lack of a clear strategy in Ukraine,” Johnson said Monday on X, formerly Twitter.
Johnson also reiterated Republicans’ insistence that any aid to Ukraine be tied to changes in U.S. policy on the southern border with Mexico as the number of migrants arriving increases.
Biden portrays Putin and Hamas as twin forces seeking to “destroy” neighboring democracies and has sought to allocate $61 billion for Ukraine with $14 billion for Israel in the aid package he called for in October link, together with the financing of the border.
For his part, Schumer said the “verdict of history will be harsh indeed” if Congress fails to act.
“You can bet Vladimir Putin is watching. Hamas is watching. Iran, President Xi, North Korea – all of our adversaries are watching them closely.”
Ukraine’s front line has remained largely static over the past year, despite a massive advance by Ukrainian forces this summer using Western military equipment.
The United States has already committed $111 billion to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022, including $67 billion for military procurement, Young said.
European countries also face the challenge of securing funding for Ukraine as war fatigue sets in.
Fears are growing in Washington that Putin may be content to wait out the situation until next year’s U.S. presidential election, a likely repeat of the 2020 contest between Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Polls show that a growing number of voters say the United States is doing too much to help Kiev.
“I think my expectation is that Putin will not make peace or meaningful peace until he sees the outcome of our election,” a senior State Department official told reporters last week.
The official would not say why, but Moscow is widely seen as a supporter of a return for Trump, who has praised the Russian leader and questioned U.S. aid to Ukraine.
Source : www.kyivpost.com