Ukraine Sees ‘Big Risk’ of Losing War if U.S. Congress Postpones Vital Aid


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff said on Tuesday that the postponement of U.S. assistance for Kyiv being debated in Congress would create a “big risk” of Ukraine losing the war with Russia.

The remarks by Andriy Yermak were some of the frankest yet from a senior Kyiv official as uncertainty swirls over the future of vital U.S and European Union assistance packages as Ukraine’s war with Russia rages on with no end in sight.

“If the help which (is) now debating in Congress will be just postponed…it gives the big risk that we can be in the same position to which we’re located now,” he said, addressing the audience in English.

“And of course, it makes this very high possibility impossible to continually liberate and give the big risk to lose this war.”

White House officials said on Monday that the United States was running out of time and money to help Ukraine fight its war against Russia.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration asked Congress in October for nearly $106 billion to fund ambitious plans for Ukraine, Israel and U.S. border security but Republicans who control the House with a slim majority rejected the package.

U.S. officials hope they can still get a significant package approved.

Yermak singled out the threat of no more direct budgetary support as problem.

“Of course, without this direct budget support, it will be difficult to keep … in same positions and to be for the people to really survive…during the situation when the war will continue,” he said.

“That is why it is extremely critically important that this support will be voted and will be voted as soon as possible.”

Yermak made the remarks on his second visit to Washington in a matter of weeks. He said he planned to press lawmakers and administration officials on the critical importance that Congress approve the new aid package.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay and Tom Balmforth; editing by Christina Fincher and Angus MacSwan)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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