President Joe Biden called Western allies on Tuesday to reassure them that the United States would stand firm in Ukraine, after Republican hardliners blocked funding for American aid to the war effort in Kiev.
Biden spoke with the leaders of the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, as well as the European Union and NATO, as well as the French Foreign Minister, the White House said.
“President Biden held a call this morning with allies and partners to coordinate our continued support for Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement, adding that more details would be forthcoming. later on.
Washington is struggling to reassure shocked allies after a last-minute deal was reached by the US Congress on Saturday to avoid a government funding shutdown, with no new aid for the war-ravaged Ukraine. .
After Tuesday’s call, allies were quick to present a united front with Biden, whose country is Ukraine’s largest aid provider in its fight against Russian aggression.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak “thanked President Biden for making the call” and his “leadership,” while adding that Western support would continue “as long as necessary.”
The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, assured that the call was “good”, while the head of the European bloc, Charles Michel, confirmed that the allies “remain united.”
Russia, for its part, is taking advantage of the turmoil in Washington: The Kremlin said Monday that Western war weariness is rising amid uncertainty over U.S. aid to Ukraine.
The bill passed on Saturday to prevent a US government shutdown removed all mention of aid to Ukraine amid opposition from far-right Republicans.
– “Keep your word” –
The Democratic president called on the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, to rush for new help, assuring that US support for Kiev will not be interrupted “under any circumstances.”
“President McCarthy and the majority of the House of Representatives must keep their word and ensure the approval of the aid needed to help Ukraine as it defends itself,” Biden wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday.
Biden also warned that there is little time left before the funds run out.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “wrong” if he believes Moscow can save Ukraine and its allies.
He added that the United States will soon announce new aid for Ukraine’s military, which will come from the $113 billion budget already approved by Congress.
But disruption in the increasingly divided US political landscape could derail efforts to pass the $6 billion in new aid that Biden is seeking.
McCarthy risked his survival on Tuesday in a historic vote in the US Congress, as he could be removed from his position as president of the House of Representatives, forced by the extreme right of his party, which called for a stop with the help of Ukraine. at the top of your agenda.
The unrest comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington in September to plead for continued support for his forces in a slow-moving counteroffensive against Russian forces that invaded the country in February 2022.
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, recently estimated the amount of military aid provided to Kyiv since the beginning of the Russian invasion at $47 billion.