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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Biden to Meet Zelenskiy in France, Announces $225 Million in Military Aid

U.S. President Joe Biden will meet Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Paris on Friday, bringing a $225 million military aid package as part of D-Day anniversary events. This will be their first face-to-face meeting since Zelenskiy visited Washington in December, where they faced Republican resistance to additional Ukraine aid. They are also scheduled to meet next week at a G7 summit in Italy, where wealthy nations will discuss allocating $50 billion for Ukraine using frozen Russian assets.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Zelenskiy expressed frustration with the slow decision-making process of Western countries regarding aid.

During his remarks in Normandy, France, on Thursday, Biden compared the fight against tyranny in World War Two to Ukraine’s current struggle against Russia, labeling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “dictator.” According to sources, the new $225 million military aid package includes artillery rounds and air defense interceptors. Ukraine has been facing significant challenges defending the Kharkiv region following a Moscow-led offensive on May 10 that has captured several villages.

Also Read: Putin Threatens to Arm Forces for Potential Strikes on Western Nations

Biden recently shifted his stance, allowing Ukraine to target Russian military assets supporting the Kharkiv offensive with U.S.-supplied weapons. Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer said in Washington on Thursday that the U.S. is working to meet Ukraine’s urgent need for weaponry. “If there were two things we could provide an infinite number of to the Ukrainians to try to turn the tide in this war, it would be artillery munitions and air defense interceptors,” Finer told a forum hosted by the Center for a New American Security. However, he acknowledged the U.S. supply is limited.

Finer noted that the conflict extends beyond the battlefield to include industrial competition, with production efforts in the U.S., Europe, and Ukraine playing crucial roles.

According to Daleep Singh, Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics, negotiations over the frozen Russian assets have been complex. “We’re waist-deep in the sausage-making of trying to strike a deal,” said Singh, who is heading back to Italy on Friday to continue the discussions.

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