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Biden, Italian PM Meloni to hold talks amid Ukraine concerns

by Olena Goncharova March 1, 2024 7:50 AM 2 min read
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is talking to the media at the end of a European Union leaders summit at the European Council headquarters on Feb. 10, 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni at the White House on March 1, amid challenges faced by the Democratic administration in garnering support from House Republicans for legislation aimed at providing assistance to Ukraine.

Despite efforts by Biden to reassure European allies of continued U.S. support for Ukraine, there has been a struggle to pass a supplementary foreign aid package in the House. This package includes $60 billion for Ukraine, alongside $35 billion for Israel and Taiwan, which has already been approved by the Senate.

Republican Speaker Mike Johnson, however, has declined to bring the bill to a vote in the House. Johnson told the Voice of America on Feb. 29 that his chamber would consider $60 billion in aid for Ukraine "as soon as the government is funded."

Prior to Meloni's visit, White House officials acknowledged the lack of satisfactory solutions for allies regarding the impasse with House Republicans, according to Associated Press. This deadlock impedes the provision of crucial aid to Kyiv, which continues to impact Ukraine's battlefield capabilities.

Following her trip to Kyiv last week, where she convened a Group of Seven leaders meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky to mark the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Meloni is now visiting Washington. It will be the second meeting between Biden and Meloni in about seven months.

While in Kyiv, Meloni reiterated Italy's backing for Ukraine and finalized a security cooperation agreement encompassing military and technical aid until year-end. Italy has additionally pledged assistance for Ukraine's efforts in reconstructing historic landmarks.

Ukraine war latest: Ukraine downs 3 Russian Su-34 jets in 1 day
Key developments on Feb. 29: * Air Force: Ukraine downs 3 Russian Su-34 jets in 1 day * Chief commander: Ukrainian forces push back Russian troops in Orlivka, Donetsk Oblast * General Staff: Ukraine hits Russian troops clustered in Olenivka, 19 soldiers killed * UK Defense Ministry: ’Territory…

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