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Kuleba calls Blinken to discuss unblocking Ukraine aid stalled in Congress

by Kateryna Hodunova March 17, 2024 12:11 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks during a press conference on Oct. 2, 2023, in Kyiv. (Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on X on March 16 that he held a telephone call with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the potential unblocking of aid for Ukraine that has been stuck in the U.S. Congress since autumn 2023.

A foreign aid bill that includes roughly $60 billion for Ukraine has been stalled for months due to divisions in Congress, namely objections from the Republican Party.

The U.S. Senate approved the overall $95 billion funding package, including aid for Ukraine, as well as funds for Israel and other allies, on Feb. 13, but it still faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has so far refused to put the legislation to a vote in his chamber, considering alternative options, including passing a future Ukraine aid bill with Democratic votes and splitting Ukraine and Israel aid into two separate bills.

Kuleba also thanked Blinken for the latest U.S. military aid package worth $300 million, including a large number of artillery rounds and GMLRS rockets for HIMARS launchers. This is the first U.S. package since December, when the U.S. provided Ukraine with military assistance worth $250 million.

Kuleba also urged the U.S. to continue its support, stressing Ukraine's critical need for air defense and artillery ammunition.

"We cannot allow Russia to use delays in aid to advance, putting all of Europe and the democratic world at risk of an even larger war," Kuleba said.

"Failure to continue supporting Ukraine would severely undermine the U.S. leadership all across the world and jeopardize American national security," the foreign minister added.

Blinken also highlighted the need for the House of Representatives to "swiftly pass" the supplemental security package in a statement released by the U.S. State Department.

"The Secretary once again underscored the United States' enduring support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity as its people fight to secure their democratic future in the face of Russia's brutal war of aggression," the readout said.

As $60 billion in funding from the U.S. for Ukraine remains stalled, Kyiv faces critical ammunition shortages.

In February, Ukrainian forces withdrew from Avdiivka, a key front-line city in Donetsk Oblast, and several nearby villages amid the shortages of weaponry, while Russian troops continued to intensify their attacks, advancing in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts.

‘Abandon all hope:’ Ukraine’s wounded warriors compare military medical system to the Inferno
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