President Joe Biden pledged that the U.S. will continue to stand with Ukraine following his meeting today with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House.
Biden praised Ukraine’s defenders who have pushed back against Russia’s full-scale assault for nearly two years, adding that the “American people can and should be incredibly proud of the part they played in supporting Ukraine’s success.”
“Mr. President, I will not walk away from Ukraine, and neither will the American people,” Biden said.
The two leaders met amid negotiations on Capitol Hill over Biden’s supplemental funding request to continue critical military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
“The brave people in Ukraine have defied [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s will at every turn, backed by the strong and unwavering support of the United States and our allies and partners in more than 50 nations in Europe and the Indo-Pacific,” he said. “Ukraine will emerge from this war proud, free and firmly rooted in the West, unless we walk away.”
He said he would continue to provide U.S. military assistance for as long as Congressionally approved funds are available.
During his address, Biden announced his approval on the latest round of military assistance, valued at $200 million, which includes critically needed air defense interceptors, artillery and ammunition.
“Without supplemental funding, we are rapidly coming to an end of our ability to help Ukraine respond to the urgent operational demands that it has,” he said.
“Putin is banking on the United States failing to deliver for Ukraine,” he continued. “We must prove him wrong.”
While in Washington, Zelenskyy met with defense officials and lawmakers to extend his gratitude for the United States’ support and underscore the urgent need for that support to continue.
In introductory remarks yesterday ahead of Zelenskyy’s address at National Defense University in Washington, D.C., Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III underscored the United States’ “unshakable” commitment to support Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression.
“Ukraine matters profoundly to America’s security, and to the trajectory of global security in the 21st century,” Austin said. “That’s why the United States has committed more than $44 billion in security assistance to Ukraine’s brave defenders.”
He added that the U.S.-led coalition of allies and partners have also contributed more than $37 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. Those contributions include capabilities that “are making a crucial difference on the battlefield,” Austin said, and have helped Ukraine recoup more than half of the territory seized by Russia since February 2022.
He said the U.S. and its allies and partners remain “determined to help Ukraine consolidate and extend its battlefield gains, and to build a future force that can ward off Russian aggression in the years ahead.”