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Biden says Putin is 'banking' on US failing to deliver for Ukraine

During a press conference Tuesday, President Joe Biden said he was committed to supplying Ukraine with "critical weapons and equipment."
Biden says Putin is 'banking' on US failing to deliver for Ukraine
Posted at 5:24 AM, Dec 12, 2023

President Joe Biden announced the U.S. would send another $200 million in aid to Ukraine. 

President Biden made the announcement while meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House on Tuesday. President Biden used presidential drawdown authority to allocate the security aid. This measure allows for President Biden to bypass Congress and provide a limited amount of aid to foreign countries so they can respond to "unforeseen emergencies."

During a press conference Tuesday, President Biden said he was committed to supplying Ukraine with "critical weapons and equipment," but noted that Congress needs to pass a supplemental aid package. 

"Putin is banking on the United States failing to deliver for Ukraine, we must ... prove him wrong," President Biden said. 

Some foreign policy experts agree that more is needed, especially if Ukraine's objective is a full expulsion of Russia from Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.

"In terms of the military mission of expelling Russia from Ukraine, that's going to take quite amount of time and a good deal of Western support," former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told Scripps News in an interview. "I think it's going to take more Western support. And it's going to take the delivery of weapons and ammunition and equipment in a far, far more timely manner than what we've seen in the past."

Earlier in the day, Zelenskyy visited Capitol Hill and met with House Speaker Mike Johnson. 

The meeting was important as House Republicans have said that any funding for Ukraine should also be paired with sweeping changes to security at the U.S -Mexico border. 

"So I've made this very clear again from the very beginning when I was handed the gavel, we needed clarity on what we're doing in Ukraine and how we'll have proper oversight of the spending of precious taxpayer dollars and the American citizens," Johnson said. "And we needed a transformative change at the border. Thus far, we've gotten neither."

SEE MORE: US is running out of money for Ukraine, White House warns

In addition to the funding announced on Tuesday, President Biden has a larger proposal that includes $61.4 billion in aid for Ukraine. Most of those funds would help provide new and replacement weapons for Ukraine, with some funds also helping with military assistance and humanitarian needs. 

The $61.4 billion was part of a $106 billion request, which also includes military funds for Israel and additional funds to secure the U.S. border.

President Biden called his proposal a compromise. 

"Compromise is how democracy works. I'm ready and offered compromise already," said. "Holding Ukraine funding hostage is not how it works. "

Zelenskyy thanked Biden and the American people for the aid, which he says has helped protect the rest of the world from Putin.

"Thanks to Ukraine's success in defense, other European nations are safe from the Russian aggression," he said. 

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