Biden moves to assure allies of U.S. support for Ukraine

October 3, 2023

President Biden on Tuesday called several other world leaders to assure them of U.S. support for Ukraine, despite resistance from some hardline Republicans.

The call was scheduled after a “clean” stopgap deal on Saturday, which excluded new aid for Ukraine in its war against Russia, passed in Congress in order to avoid a government shutdown at midnight that night.

Biden’s call Tuesday included the leaders of Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom, as well as France’s foreign minister, according to the White House. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and leaders of the European Union were also on the call.

The call was part of a continuing effort by Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to ease allies’ concerns that GOP opposition to aiding Ukraine could give Russian President Vladimir Putin a boost in his push to take over the neighboring country as winter approaches.

One European diplomat on Monday said the Biden Administration was telling allies that it’s working on an agreement with Congress to allow continued military aid to Ukraine.

Biden’s outreach Tuesday came as Foreign Ministers from European Union member nations were meeting met in Kyiv for their first-ever meeting outside the 27-country bloc.

On Monday in Kyiv, Vice President of the European Commission Josep Borrell told reporters that the EU had proposed a spending package for Ukraine of up to 5 billion euros, or $5.25 billion, for 2024 that he hoped would be agreed to by this coming year.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Monday, “We don’t feel that the U.S support has been shattered,” insisting that “the United States understands that what is at stake in Ukraine is much bigger than just Ukraine.”

Moscow hyped Congress’ stopgap legislation as a sign of increasing division in the West, even though Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Monday he expected Washington to continue its support for Kyiv, calling the omission of aid for Ukraine “a temporary phenomenon.”

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