Vice President Kamala Harris underscored the United States’ commitment to continue supporting Ukraine after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today.  

The two leaders met during the Munich Security Conference in Germany as Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine nears the two-year mark.  

“It is thanks to the skill and bravery of the people of Ukraine and the support of the 50-nation coalition the United States has led, Kyiv stands free and strong,” Harris said.  

The vice president noted Ukraine’s success over the course of the war against “an adversary with an economy 10 times larger than Ukraine, a population three times larger, and a military that once ranked as the second best in the world.” 

“Because of our collective strength, this war has been an utter failure for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Harris said.  

“The stakes of your fight remain high for your country and for the entire world,” she said, addressing Zelenskyy during a joint press conference in Munich. “It is in the strategic interest of the United States to continue our support. International rules and norms are on the line, including the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.” 

The meeting of the two leaders comes amid continuing negotiations on Capitol Hill over President Joe Biden’s request to Congress to continue critical funding for military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.      

Earlier this week, the Senate approved a supplemental funding measure which would include additional funds for Ukraine security assistance in addition to providing urgent support for Israel following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas terrorists along with humanitarian support for Palestinian civilians in Gaza.    

The measure also provides additional resources for U.S. Central Command to deter attacks by Iranian-backed militia groups and protect vessels operating in the Red Sea from attacks by Houthi rebels. It would also provide critical funds needed to bolster U.S. deterrence in the Indo-Pacific. 

The measure has yet to pass in the House, which is now in recess until February 28.  

Defense officials have warned of a grim future for Ukraine if the funding is not approved. 

The official noted that with a gap in funding from the U.S., it puts Ukraine at risk of running short of ammunition and critical supplies on the front lines and also jeopardizes adequate air defense interceptors to defend its cities and critical infrastructure from Russian missile barrages. 

“If Ukraine fails because we fail to provide them with security assistance, the costs are high for Europe, for the United States, and for the world — higher than the cost of security assistance today,” a defense official said yesterday in a briefing with the meeting following the latest meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.   

In Munich, Harris noted the bi-partisan support among members of Congress to continue supporting Ukraine.  

“As we move forward, President Biden and I will continue to work to secure the resources and weapons that you need to succeed,” she said. “We will also continue to support your efforts to secure a just and lasting peace. We will work to make sure Russia pays damages to Ukraine. Ultimately, we want to see Ukraine emerge from this war as a nation that is free, democratic and independent.  

“President Zelenskyy, as President Joe Biden and I have made clear, we will be with you for as long as it takes,” Harris said.

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