Biden backs Ukraine, warns against allowing Putin to win

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U.S. President Joe Biden told President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday that the United States will not abandon Ukraine in its desperate fight against Russia, even as Republicans signaled opposition to extending US war funding.

Standing alongside the Ukrainian leader at a White House press conference, Biden vowed: “I will not walk away from Ukraine and neither will the American people.”

And he said that allowing a Ukrainian defeat would mean Russian President Vladimir Putin “and would-be aggressors everywhere will be emboldened.”

Zelensky, who spent the morning talking to Republicans and Democrats in Congress, signaled cautious optimism that the stalled US aid flow will restart.

“I got the signals. They were more than positive. But we know that we have to separate words and particular results. Therefore we will count on particular results,” Zelensky said.

But the united front at the White House contrasted with growing division up on Capitol Hill, where leading Republicans are insisting that renewing Ukraine aid will depend on Democrats first agreeing to major immigration reforms — and even questioning whether the war against Russian invasion should continue.

As Moscow claimed fresh battlefield advances and predicted any new assistance for Kyiv would be a “fiasco,” Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson expressed little enthusiasm for approving Biden’s request for $60 billion in new assistance.

“What the Biden administration seems to be asking for is billions of additional dollars with no appropriate oversight, no clear strategy to win, and none of the answers that I think the American people are owed,” Johnson told reporters after meeting Zelensky.

Republican Senator JD Vance — who is close to the party’s leader and likely 2024 presidential candidate, Donald Trump — said on social media that Zelensky was “gross” for pressuring the Senate.

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