Biden tries to reassure allies of continued US support for Ukraine after Congress drops aid request

The White House says President Joe Biden has been in touch with U.S. allies and partners to discuss continued support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia

Seung Min Kim
Tuesday 03 October 2023 16:00 BST
Biden (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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Louise Thomas

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President Joe Biden convened a call Tuesday with U.S. allies and partners to coordinate future support for Ukraine after Congress passed — and he signed — legislation that kept the U.S. government funded but dropped his request for billions of dollars to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

Details on specifics of the discussion and whether any decisions were made were not immediately available.

Biden sought on Sunday, just hours after he signed a bill to fund U.S. government operations through mid-November, to reassure allies of continued U.S. financial support for Ukraine's war effort. But he warned in public comments that time was running out and urged Congress to negotiate a new aid package quickly.

“We cannot under any circumstances allow America’s support for Ukraine to be interrupted,” Biden said at the White House after Congress averted a government shutdown by passing a short-term funding bill late Saturday that stripped out assistance for Ukraine.

“We have time, not much time, and there’s an overwhelming sense of urgency,” Biden said, noting that funding in the bill will run out in mid-November.

“The vast majority of both parties — Democrats and Republicans, Senate and House — support helping Ukraine and the brutal aggression that is being thrust upon them by Russia,” Biden said. “Stop playing games, get this done.’’

But many lawmakers acknowledge that winning approval for Ukraine assistance in Congress is growing more difficult as the war continues. Republican resistance to the aid has been gaining momentum.

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