This Thursday, Volodimir Zelensky held the most important meeting since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 22, 2022. The Ukrainian president met with Joe Biden at the White House for half an hour, followed by another hour-long meeting with their respective advisers. Previously, Zelensky had met with the Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress, in meetings that revealed the inability of the opposition to decide whether it wants to continue supporting Ukraine or not. The Ukrainian president was also with the United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austinand made a flower offering at the monument to those who fell in the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon.
Zelensky has described the visit as “criticism”. And he has no shortage of reasons. At stake are the 24 billion military aid to Ukraine that the White House wants Congress to approve for kyiv by September 30. The problem is that this aid is part of a broader budget package, and the Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, are not able to agree on whether they want to approve it or not.
To aggravate the ceremony of confusion, the Senate Republicans are going to support the 24 billion. For that reason, Zelensky appeared yesterday on Capitol Hill among the Democratic majority leader, Chuck Schumerand that of the Republican minority, Mitch McConnell, in an unusual display of unity between American political rivals. But the president of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthyonly met Zelensky in private, so as not to upset the ultra wing of his own party, which sympathizes with Vladimir Putin and is close to Donald Trumpwho hinted Sunday that if he wins the 2024 election, he will force Ukraine to cede part of its territory to Russia.
Meanwhile, negotiations on the delivery of new weapons systems to Ukraine remain stalled. The US has somewhat softened its position in relation to delivery of 300 kilometer range ATACMS surface-to-surface missiles, and now he does not rule it out outright, as had been his position, although he has not made a decision either. The same happens with the German Government and the eventual supply of Taurus cruise missiles, with a radius of action of 500 kilometers. At least American M-1 tanks will arrive in Ukraine in the coming days, just before fall rains paralyze the front.
Nine months ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the United States Congress in joint session to remind Washington that helping Ukraine “is not charity”, but “an investment” in global security.