Biden Publicly Apologizes to Zelenskyy as He Announces $225 Million in Additional Ukraine Aid

Blaming congressional Republicans, President Joe Biden offered an apology to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday for a delay in getting American military aid to Ukraine.

“I apologize for the weeks of not knowing what was going to pass, in terms of funding, because we had trouble getting the bill that we had to pass, that had the money in it,” Biden said before the two met privately in Paris, according to The New York Times.

“Some of our very conservative members were holding it up.”

Biden had proposed massive foreign aid bills for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies in the fall. Congress approved the aid — $61 billion — in April after House Republicans initially balked at the spending.

“I assure you the United States will stand with you,” Biden told Zelenskyy, according to NBC. “We are still in, completely.”


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Biden used Friday to announce a new package of $225 million in aid to Ukraine, which recently received a limited green light to use American weapons to attack sites in Russia that are supporting a Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine.

The Council on Foreign Relations noted that $175 billion has been approved in spending related to the war in Ukraine since it began in February 2022, of which $107 billion went directly to Ukraine’s government. The majority of the rest of the package is financing assorted U.S. activities connected to the war, while a smaller amount supports other countries in the region that are affected.

The spending comes at a time when the National Debt Clock shows the debt closing in on $35 trillion.

Although Biden sought to highlight the political division surrounding aid to Ukraine, Zelenskyy tried to talk up unity on Friday.

“It’s very important that in this unity, United States of America, all American people stay with Ukraine like it was during World War II,” Zelenskyy said, according to ABC.

“How the United States helped to save human lives, to save Europe. And we count on your continuing support in standing with us shoulder to shoulder.”


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Ukraine is reeling from a Russian offensive that is attacking both the north and east of the vast nation as Russia’s larger army is pushing back Ukraine’s outnumbered defenders, NBC said.

Although the eastern offensive around Kharkiv had been making progress for Russia, those advances have been slowed lately.

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On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron said France will provide its Mirage combat aircraft to Ukraine.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has said that the U.S. giving permission to Ukraine to strike some sites in Russia with American-made weapons could prompt retaliation.

“We reserve the right to act the same way,” Putin said this week during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, according to The Hill. “The response might [be] asymmetrical, and we will think about that.”

A report in The New York Times quoted Putin as saying that Russia has “the right to send our weapons of the same class to those regions of the world where strikes can be made on sensitive facilities of the countries that do this against Russia.”


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