Biden and Zelenskyy present a united front against Russia

Biden and Zelenskyy present a united front against Russia

#Biden #Zelenskyy #present #united #front #Russia Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:

Click Me To View Restricted Videos

WASHINGTON — President Biden and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on Wednesday presented a united front against Vladimir V Putin of Russia, though Mr Zelensky warned his country was sinking into a long, cold wartime winter and had little hope of securing a just one Make peace with the “terrorists” who are beating his people.

“The longer the war lasts, the longer this aggression lasts, there will be more parents living out of revenge or revenge,” said Mr. Zelensky, who was standing on a podium alongside Mr. Biden hours after leaving the front lines of his country’s war in a stormy diplomatic mission to Ukraine’s most powerful ally.

“So there can be no just peace in the war that has been forced upon us,” he said, speaking in halting English rather than using a translator.

Mr. Zelensky arrived at the White House on Wednesday to show solidarity and plead for even more economic and military support. The two men met behind closed doors for more than two hours before facing reporters to reaffirm their determination to defend Ukraine against Russian forces that invaded in February.

Hanging side by side in the East Room with the flag of Ukraine hanging next to glittering Christmas decorations, Mr. Biden and Mr. Zelensky – in his wartime uniform of olive green sweater and cargo pants – both pledged to continue fighting the Russian invasion to force an end to it Mr. Putin’s unwarranted aggression.

“The American people know that if we stood by in the face of such blatant attacks on liberty and democracy and the basic principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, the world would certainly face worse consequences,” Biden said.

“The American people have been with you every step of the way,” Mr. Biden told Mr. Zelensky. “And we will stay with you. We will stay with you for as long as is necessary.”

But both leaders sounded grim about the prospects of an early end to the conflict. Mr Biden said it was crucial “to stand together until 2023” and suggested another year of war in the heart of Europe. Mr Zelensky gave a blunt assessment of the coming months: “We have to survive this winter,” he said. “We have to protect our people.”

Mr Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington – which was kept secret until the eve of his arrival for security reasons – was a dramatic vote of confidence by the Ukrainian leader, who had not left his country since Mr Putin launched his attack 300 days ago.

Within 24 hours, just days before Christmas, Mr. Zelensky flew from the battered frontlines of a country plunged into darkness by Russian airstrikes to the marble-clad rooms of the White House, where he repeatedly thanked Americans for being one were “true partners” of Ukraine in its struggle for survival.

The one-day trip to Washington was designed as a thank you, a lap of honor and a sales pitch at the same time. After meeting Mr. Biden, Mr. Zelensky was scheduled to address a joint session of Congress saying that his country could not survive without billions of dollars worth of sophisticated American war equipment.

Mr. Zelensky will certainly get some, but not all, of what he wants before he heads home less than 10 hours after arriving in Washington.

Congress is just days away from approving nearly $50 billion in additional security and economic aid to Ukraine. Mr. Biden on Wednesday announced the delivery of a Patriot missile battery to help Ukraine defend against aerial attacks, but the administration still opposes longer-range weapons that will strike deep in Russia and the United States potentially into direct conflict with Mr. Putin and his military.

Mr. Zelensky’s outstretched hand has at times angered some officials in the Biden administration over the past year. Wednesday’s White House appearance offered a glimpse into the transactional nature of the relationship between the two men as Mr. Zelensky announced what he would do after receiving a Patriot missile battery from the United States to help protect Ukraine from airstrikes .

“After that, we’re going to send another signal to President Biden that we’d like to get more Patriots,” he said.

The aside underscored both the human dynamic between the two men and Mr Biden’s fears that delivering too much military aid too quickly could trigger a wider conflict with Russia and the West, with even more dangerous consequences.

Later, when a reporter from Ukraine asked Mr. Biden why he didn’t just give Mr. Zelenskyy all the guns he wanted, Mr. Biden quipped, “His answer is yes,” and pointed to the Ukrainian president.

“I agree!” Mr. Zelensky reacted quickly and elicited laughter from the audience.

The White House visit comes as both sides prepare for months of fighting. In Russia, officials warned that shipments of new US weapons would “lead to a worsening of the conflict” and Mr Putin promised his government would provide “anything the army asks for – anything” in its quest for conquest.

“President Zelenskyy’s visit here serves at least in part, perhaps primarily, to bolster that support and rekindle enthusiasm for Ukraine’s success,” said William B. Taylor Jr., who served as ambassador to Ukraine from 2006-2009. “All this is necessary for the Ukrainians to forestall a Russian offensive.”

“The timing is perfect,” he said.

For Mr. Biden, the highly orchestrated visit is an opportunity to remind Americans why he committed the United States Treasury Department – if not its soldiers – to defending the borders of a country a continent away. It is crucial, he argues, to stand up for the rights of sovereign nations when international law is violated.

That decision has not come without sacrifice and political cost for Mr. Biden, who correctly predicted before the war began that Americans would suffer economic consequences as the effects of Europe’s first war in decades spread across the world. Gas and food prices rose, helping to push up inflation in the United States and elsewhere.

Having rallied dozens of nations to resist the Russian invasion, Mr. Biden has had to hold this coalition together for longer than anyone in the White House imagined at the start of the war. And he faces a concerted attempt by Mr. Putin to break the alliance by cutting back on energy resources and attacking civilian areas in Ukraine.

“The most important part of this visit may be to challenge Putin’s belief that time is on his side in war,” said Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. “Putin cannot win on the battlefield, so he is trying to break the will of the Ukrainian people by his attacks on civilian areas, and he is trying to break the will of Europe by refusing energy.”

Before their meeting on Wednesday, Zelensky presented Mr. Biden with a Cross for Military Merit, an award he said was bestowed on him by a soldier on the front lines in Ukraine. The soldier, a captain, said Mr Zelensky should give it to the “very brave president” who saved many lives in their country.

“Underserved but much appreciated,” Mr. Biden replied in a moment that underscored how the two leaders are intertwined in the ongoing conflict.

But Mr. Biden and Mr. Zelensky must continue to build support among American voters and lawmakers, some of whom have begun to doubt the wisdom of an open-ended commitment to a conflict that shows no signs of ending.

There remains broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for financial aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia, and a majority of Republicans have rallied behind the aid. However, some in the party have pushed for better control of funds sent to Ukraine, and others have questioned how much the country really needs.

Some Republican lawmakers in Congress have indicated that later this week they will vote against a $1.7 trillion government spending bill that includes the money for Ukraine. And California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, recently told reporters, “I’m not in favor of a blank check for anything. That’s good tax money. And I want to make sure that whatever funds we spend go to the right places.”

There is also evidence that Americans on both sides are growing weary of the ongoing conflict. Some Democrats have heard from voters questioning routine aid infusions and urging Biden administration officials to say how they think the conflict will end — and when.

Mr. Zelensky will have an opportunity to address these concerns during his speech to Congress on Wednesday evening. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Majority Leader, said that Mr. Zelensky’s appearance would be “a memorable day in the history of the United States Congress.” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, called Mr. Zelensky “an inspirational leader.”

During his speech, Mr. Zelensky will have an opportunity to present the war sweeping his country in clear terms that he hopes will transcend American domestic politics. Advisors to Ukraine’s president said he would discuss America’s role in “building resilience and defense” of his country.

“I think what Zelensky can do in his speech is argue that Ukraine is essentially fighting for our interests and our values,” Haass said, adding that the Ukrainian president “has an opportunity to have a greater connection to the… American people to establish support for Ukraine. It just didn’t get a lot of traction.”

Mr. Zelensky last spoke to members of Congress via video link in March, when he urged military aid and described the defense of Ukraine as a fight for democracy itself. Speaking mostly in Ukrainian and wearing his signature military T-shirt, he told US lawmakers they had a moral obligation to help.

“I urge you to do more,” he said, citing Pearl Harbor and the September 11 attacks before arguing for a no-fly zone, more guns, and sanctions by the United States.

“Is that asking a lot to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people? Is that asking too much?” he said at the time.

Reporting was provided by Emily Cochrane in Washington, Anton Troianovski in Berlin and Andrew E. Kramer in Kyiv.

Click Here To Continue Reading From Source

Related Articles

Back to top button