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Zelensky stresses US aid importance in address to Senate

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 12, 2023 7:27 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers an address to the U.S. Senate on Dec. 12, 2023. (Volodymyr Zelensky/Facebook)
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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered his address to the U.S. Senate on Dec. 12, emphasizing the crucial role of Washington's support.

The Ukrainian head of state arrived in the U.S. on Dec. 11 as he seeks to reinvigorate support for Ukraine. A $61-billion funding request for Ukraine has been stalled amid political infighting in Congress and opposition from parts of the Republican Party.

"A friendly, frank meeting in the U.S. Senate, which is an important affirmation of Ukraine's support in the fight for independence, freedom and democracy," Zelensky wrote on social media.

"(I) told senators about the current security and economic situation in Ukraine, the importance of maintaining vital American support."

Zelensky said he thanked Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for their "bipartisan support" for his country.

According to Schumer, Zelensky "made clear, and we all made clear, that if we lose, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin wins, and this will be very, very dangerous for the United States."

The Ukrainian president is expected to also meet House Speaker Mike Johnson and U.S. President Joe Biden.

Previously, Zelensky was supposed to give an address to Congress on Dec. 5 ahead of a vote on a funding bill that included aid for Ukraine, but it was canceled at the last minute.

Republicans blocked the funding bill in a narrow vote on Dec. 6, insisting that any further aid for Ukraine or Israel must include significant changes to the U.S. border and immigration policy.

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