US help for Ukraine ‘coming to an end’ unless new funding approved, Biden warns

US News

Joe Biden has warned the US is “rapidly coming to an end” of its ability to help Ukraine – unless Congress approves more military funding for the country.

The Democrat US president made the comments amid a row with some Republicans who want to tie additional support for Kyiv with funding for tougher security measures at the US-Mexico border.

President Biden issued the warning at a White House press conference on Tuesday alongside Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has travelled to Washington DC in a bid to shore up support for fresh funding.

The US has already provided more than $111bn (£88bn) to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion of the country more than 21 months ago, but current support is due to run out within weeks.

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President Biden said the US would continue to back Kyiv “as long as we can” as he announced an additional $200m (£160m) package of support on Tuesday.

He added: “But without supplemental funding, we’re rapidly coming to an end of our ability to help Ukraine respond to the urgent operational demands that it has…

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is banking on the United States failing to deliver for Ukraine. We must prove him wrong.”

U.S. President Joe Biden attends a joint press conference with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday

However, the US president expressed optimism that a proposed new billion-dollar funding package, which would also include extra funding for Israel, was likely to be approved.

He told reporters there was still “strong bipartisan support for Ukraine” and said it was only a small minority of Republicans who were opposed, adding: “I think we can get there.”

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U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy react during a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Biden and Zelenskyy at the press conference

Meanwhile, President Zelenskyy avoided getting involved in the political row as he praised the “full-fledged support” he had received from “both Democrats and Republicans” during his trip.

He also declined to answer when asked if Donald Trump returning to the White House in the next election would threaten the independence of his country.

Mr Zelenskyy added: “As we approach Christmas… Ukraine’s greatest wish is to near this war’s victorious end.

“We dream of a Christmas in peacetime. We are heading there together with you and thank you for your support.”

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