Ukraine Expresses Hope for Continued US Aid

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Monday he believes the United States “will be able to find the necessary solutions” to continue military support for Ukraine

Speaking to reporters alongside European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Kuleba said Ukraine has had in-depth discussions with both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

He described a decision by U.S. lawmakers to strip financial support for Ukraine from a stopgap budget bill passed Saturday to halt a federal government shutdown as an “incident” rather than a systemic change in support.

“We don’t feel that the U.S. support has been shattered, because the United States understands that what is at stake in Ukraine is much bigger than just Ukraine, it’s about the stability and predictability of the world,” Kuleba said.

Borrell, who is leading a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Kyiv on Monday, said he also believed a resolution will be found to continue U.S. aid for Ukraine.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said holding the meeting in Ukraine’s capital was a show of “resolute and lasting support for Ukraine.”

“It is also a message to Russia that it should not count on our weariness. We will be there for a long time to come,” Colonna told reporters.

Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot said Russia must be held accountable for its aggression in Ukraine and that it is important to pressure Russia with sanctions.

“We have to do whatever it takes, as long as it takes, for the freedom of the people of Ukraine,” she said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday that Russia believes fatigue with the war in Ukraine will grow in Western countries, but that it expects the United States to continue its involvement.

The U.S. legislation to keep the federal government running until Nov. 17 dropped additional aid to Ukraine, a White House priority opposed by a growing number of Republican lawmakers.

In a speech Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said nothing would weaken his country’s fight against Russia.

U.S. President Joe Biden pressed Sunday for congressional Republicans to back a bill to provide more aid to Ukraine, saying he was “sick and tired” of the political brinkmanship that nearly led to a government shutdown.

“We cannot under any circumstances allow America’s support for Ukraine to be interrupted. I fully expect the speaker to keep his commitment to secure the passage and support needed to help Ukraine as they defend themselves against aggression and brutality,” he told reporters at the White House.

Many lawmakers, however, acknowledge that winning approval for Ukraine assistance in Congress is growing more difficult as the war between Russia and Ukraine grinds on.

Voting in the House this past week pointed to potential trouble ahead. Nearly half of House Republicans voted to strip $300 million from a defense spending bill to train Ukrainian soldiers and purchase weapons. The money later was approved separately, but opponents of Ukraine support celebrated their growing numbers.

Ukraine funding dissent

Earlier Sunday, in Slovakia, the winner of parliamentary elections held over the weekend was poised to begin coalition talks to form a government opposing the EU’s military aid for Ukraine.

Robert Fico’s party slogan “Not a single round” for neighboring Ukraine resonated in Slovakia, a nation of 5.5 million.

“We are not changing that we are prepared to help Ukraine in a humanitarian way,” said the pro-Russia Fico, whom analysts consider to be inspired by Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, an opponent of the EU’s commitment in arming Ukraine.

Fico said Slovakia, a NATO member, has bigger problems than the Ukraine issue, including energy prices and living costs, but added his SMER-SSD party would do everything possible to start peace talks.

Source: VOA