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Zelensky to meet Biden in the US on Dec. 12

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 10, 2023 10:55 PM 2 min read
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and U.S. President Joe Biden walk to the Oval Office of the White House on Sept. 21, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky will travel to the U.S. on Dec. 11, where he will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden the following day, the two leaders' offices announced, as U.S. funding for Ukraine is rapidly running out and further aid is being held up in Congress by Republican opposition.

Biden invited Zelensky to "underscore the United States’ unshakeable commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia’s brutal invasion," the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

The president's trip to the U.S. capital comes just as the Biden administration is trying to secure a new aid package for Ukraine that has been blocked by Republicans who are attempting to tie further aid to Ukraine and Israel to tougher border security.

The White House previously said that the U.S. will run out of funds to support Ukraine in the coming weeks if Congress does not take action.

"As Russia ramps up its missile and drone strikes against Ukraine, the leaders will discuss Ukraine’s urgent needs and the vital importance of the United States’ continued support at this critical moment," Jean-Pierre said.

The leaders are set to hold a series of meetings and negotiations over defense cooperation between the U.S. and Ukraine through joint projects on the production of weapons and air defense systems, as well as coordination efforts between the two countries in the upcoming year.

"President Volodymyr Zelensky will focus on securing unity among the U.S., Europe, and the rest of the world in supporting Ukraine's defense against Russian aggression, as well as strengthening the international order based on rules and respect for the sovereignty of nations," the announcement said.

Zelensky previously visited the U.S. on Sept. 21, meeting Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and senior members of Congress.

US Senator: Republicans ‘holding Ukraine aid hostage’
Senator Chris Murphy, a democrat, told NBC News on Dec. 10 that he wished Republicans weren’t holding further aid to Ukraine hostage to immigration reform as military assistance to both Kyiv and Israel continues to get held up in Congress.
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