Biden calls prospects of US withdrawal of support for Ukraine "insanity" and assures that funds will be allocated
U.S. President Joe Biden has called the prospect of the United States withdrawing its support for Ukraine "an absolute mistake" and "insanity." According to the head of state, such a step is contrary to the interests of the United States, so Biden assured that his administration will continue to seek the allocation of funds, which is currently being blocked at the level of the US Congress.
At the same time, the continuation of US assistance to Ukraine and Israel has become a bargaining chip for a group of Republicans, who demand changes in migration policy and strengthening of US border protection in exchange for approval of the White House's request. The details were revealed in The New York Times.
According to the newspaper, Biden's insistence on urgent approval of a $106 billion funding package, of which $61 billion should be used to help Ukraine and the rest to support Israel, Taiwan, and protect the US border with Mexico, has been opposed by some Republicans in both the US Congress and the US Senate.
During the Senate vote on this issue, Republicans threaten to block funding if Democrats do not agree to strengthen measures to counteract migrants at the border with Mexico.
Thus, the issue of continued support for Ukraine was to be discussed at a secret briefing in the Senate on Tuesday, December 5. However, this briefing turned into a dispute over the border, which The New York Times described as "a partisan shouting match" that, according to the newspaper, not only jeopardized the allocation of funding for Ukraine, but also "seriously clouded the prospects for any bipartisan agreement in the near future."
The media wrote that Republican senators called the briefing a waste of time. Some Republicans even left early.
The dispute arose over whether to include stricter immigration policy in the aid package for Ukraine.
Some Democratic senators stated that the United States "is going to leave Ukraine to its own devices" and warned that Republicans who are currently blocking aid for the Ukrainian army will "regret the day they decide to play politics with the future of Ukraine's security" - and this will happen when "Putin enters a NATO country."
At the same time, even some Republicans who had been firmly pro-Ukrainian spoke out against voting for aid to Ukraine in isolation from measures to restrict migration. For example, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is well aware that if Putin wins in Ukraine, a war between Russia and NATO is inevitable. However, he believes that insufficient protection of American borders from migrants is no less of a threat to U.S. national security. And he is ready to support assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan only if the US borders are strengthened.
US President Joe Biden also responded to the senators' position. He called the prospects of the US refusing to help Ukraine an "absolute mistake" and "insanity." According to Biden, this is contrary to the country's interests. So the American president promised that his administration would get the funds allocated.
"We will do it!" Biden assured journalists during a press conference on December 5.
The White House requested Congress to approve a $106 billion funding package, of which more than $61 billion is earmarked for Ukraine, back in September. However, the issue of border security has become a key point of contention between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Democrats are in favor of a comprehensive overhaul of the migration system, while Republicans are pushing for stricter requirements for migrants and border security. Neither party has yet agreed to make concessions.
And while Democrats have a majority in the Senate and there are some chances that the White House's request will be supported, in the Republican-dominated Congress, these chances are almost zero unless a compromise is found.
Earlier, a State Department spokesman assessed the chances of Congress approving additional aid to Ukraine. He noted that there is overwhelming support in Congress for further assistance to Ukraine. Therefore, there is hope that congressmen will agree on the need for funding for Kyiv.
It was also reported that Biden's adviser Jake Sullivan urged Congress not to ignore the lessons of history. He emphasized that Russia should not be allowed to achieve success on the battlefield in Ukraine. That is why the U.S. Congress must take responsibility and approve the request for military assistance for Ukraine.