President Volodymyr Zelensky failed in his effort to press Congress to quickly pass additional military aid to Ukraine while visiting Washington last week as lawmakers remain deadlocked over President Biden’s request for supplemental security assistance for Ukraine, Israel, the Washington Post reported.
Zelensky was on Capitol Hill last Tuesday to urge Congress to approve the additional funding. The Ukrainian president told lawmakers that Ukraine would not stop fighting until Russian forces were expelled from the country but warned that without additional aid, the war would become more brutal with Ukrainian forces ceding ground to the well-armed Russian forces.
Zelensky’s visit, which was coordinated by the White House, coincided with the current standoff in the Capitol where Republicans have demanded changes to asylum and immigration policies in exchange for sending additional aid to Kyiv.
Following his visit to Capitol Hill, Zelensky met with President Biden in the White House where he characterized his meetings with lawmakers as “more than positive” but admitted that the Ukrainian people would need to “separate words from results.”
Zelensky said it was “very important” that the “entire free world” send a message of unity to Russia before the end of the year.
President Biden announced another $200 million in drawdown funds for Ukraine but warned that those funds would run out quickly and urged Congress to approve the supplemental aid package before leaving for the Christmas recess.
Biden warned that if Congress failed to approve the aid before the end of the year, lawmakers would be giving Russian President Vladimir Putin “the greatest Christmas gift” they could give him.
However, the president’s warning fell on deaf ears as two days after Zelensky’s visit, the House departed Washington for the holiday recess without passing additional funding for Ukraine, the Associated Press reported.
The Senate meanwhile planned to remain for another week in the hope of approving the supplemental aid package and finalizing a deal on restricting asylum claims at the border.