In surprise trip to Kyiv, Biden's top security advisor assures Ukraine of U.S. support

In surprise trip to Kyiv, Biden’s top security advisor assures Ukraine of U.S. support

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan (L) speaks with Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the Ukrainian presidency, in Kyiv on Wednesday during the U.S. official’s surprise trip. Photo courtesy of Andriy Yermak/Office of the President of Ukraine/X

March 21 (UPI) — As new military funding for Ukraine remains deadlocked in Congress, the Biden administration’s top national security adviser made a surprise trip to Kyiv to assure the besieged European ally that assistance would be coming and to reaffirm the United States’ support in its fight against Russia.

A White House statement from National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said national security adviser Jake Sullivan made the Wednesday, meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and other high-ranking officials.

During a press conference alongside Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the Ukrainian presidency, Sullivan said the United States believes that Ukraine can win the war against Russia and that Ukraine “should believe in the United States.”

“We have stood by your side since this war began,” he said. “We have provided enormous support and we will continue to do so every day in every way we know how.”

The United States is Ukraine’s largest backer in its war against Russia, providing Kyiv with more than $44 billion in security assistance.

The Biden administration has vowed to stand by Ukraine, but as the war has dragged on into its third year, support among Republicans in Congress has been slipping.

President Joe Biden has for months tried to get lawmakers to pass a national security package that includes $60 billion for Ukraine. But it has been met with staunch opposition from Republicans who have tried to leverage the issue to secure funding and stricter polices for the U.S. southern border.

Last month, the Senate passed the bill, but it has yet to reach the Republican-led House floor, in part due to stiff opposition from allies of former President Donald Trump, who opposes sending money to Ukraine and has stated military aid should be given to Kyiv as a loan.

In the press conference with Yermak, Sullivan said he knows there are questions in Ukraine about the deadlock in Congress but officials are “confident we will get this done.”

“We will get this aid to Ukraine,” he said.

In the absence of congressionally approved funds, the Biden administration has sought other methods to arm Ukraine, which is running low on supplies, especially artillery and ammunition.

Earlier this month, the White house announced a $300 million security package for Kyiv that was funded through cost-saving measures, officials said.

Sullivan pointed to this, as well as efforts to encourage international partners to increase support for Ukraine, as proof that “we are going to do everything in our power to continue to support you and your efforts as you go forward.”

He voiced confidence in achieving a “strong bipartisan vote” in the House on the supplemental package while acknowledging it has taken too long.

“But I want you to know that among members of Congress and among the American people, there continues to be a deep and strong reservoir of support for what you are doing, why it matters for your security and why it mattes for our security,” he said “We’re going to continue making that case.”

Zelensky, in his nightly address, said he had a “very meaningful, very specific conversation” with Sullivan about defense and that he is “grateful” for the U.S. support.

“It is vital that American leadership remains strong in protecting the international legal order,” the Ukrainian president said.  » …
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