Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky will appeal directly to U.S. senators on Tuesday as he seeks assurances on approval for delivery of the next tranche of aid and lethal military equipment to his embattled country.
The personal entreaty will take place via secure video as part of a classified briefing on the war in Europe, UPI reports.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer announced he extended the Biden administration’s invitation to Zelensky on Monday.
Zelensky will hope to use the same powers of persuasion he has spoken of in the past, once boasting it would take him 24 minutes to explain to former President Donald Trump he cannot end the Ukraine war in 24 hours because Russian President Vladimir Putin can’t be managed.
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New York Democrat Schumer agreed, saying the invitation was made so Zelensky could personally inform all senators directly about “what’s at stake.”
Lawmakers will also be hearing from the secretaries of Defense, State and other top national security officials.
Zelensky will speak 24-hours after the White House warned U.S. funds for Ukraine will run dry by the end of the year, bluntly declaring a failure by Congress to approve new support would “kneecap” Kyiv and hinder efforts to deliver more lethal aid from U.S. reserves, as Breitbart News reported.
The White House is seeking $61 billion more for Ukraine aid in the funding push even as bipartisan support fades.
The proposal is part of a $106 billion supplemental package Biden sent lawmakers in October for additional funding for Ukraine, Israel, the Pacific and the U.S.-Mexico border.
Biden’s funding request for his biggest foreign policy priorities remains mired in stalemate on Capitol Hill, driven by mounting Republican opposition to endlessly supplying Kyiv in a seeming war without end.