Zelensky suddenly cancels a letter he was scheduled to address to the US Congress requesting new aid of great importance to Kiev

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday suddenly canceled his scheduled participation via video stream with members of the US Senate, where arduous negotiations are taking place over a new aid package of great importance to Kiev.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement to reporters, “Zelensky cannot participate in the briefing with us… Something happened at the last minute”.

Washington is the country that has provided most of the countries with military aid to Kiev, amounting to tens of billions of dollars since the Russian invasion in February 2022.

But Democratic President Joe Biden’s pledge to continue supporting Ukraine financially has become threatened, and this is what Kiev fears, whose counterattack didn’t achieve the desired gains.

Congress is scheduled to hold a procedural vote on Wednesday on a military, humanitarian and economic aid package for Kiev, with the measure expected to fail unless a major surprise occurs.

The US Congress, which has so far approved granting Kiev massive military, humanitarian and economic aid, consists of two chambers.

In the House of Representatives, which is dominated by conservatives, a number of right-wing representatives are demanding an immediate cessation of aid to Kiev.

In the Senate, where the Democrats have a majority, the Republican opposition, in return, supports supporting Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials stress their need for more weapons to prevent Russian strikes from depriving millions of people of electricity this winter, as happened last year.

The White House warned on Monday that military aid provided by the United States to Ukraine may decline sharply in the coming weeks, in light of the failure to reach a financing agreement with the Republican opposition.

“If Congress does not act by the end of the year, we will run out of resources to deliver more weapons and equipment to Ukraine,” said Shalanda Yang, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Aware that a sense of urgency has faded in Washington since the war began, President Joe Biden has sought to tie the $61 billion package for Ukraine to the $14 billion allocated to Israel in the aid package he requested in October.

But the leader of the conservative representatives calls for tightening the immigration policy to confront the arrival of migrants at the border with Mexico, which the Democrats currently reject.

House Speaker Mike Johnson reiterated his position on Tuesday, indicating in a letter to the White House that no new aid to Ukraine would be approved without a fundamental change in US immigration policy.

In anticipation of the US ally’s fatigue, Zelensky went to Washington in September, where he met Biden and members of Congress with whom he held lengthy discussions.

But his visit didn’t achieve the desired goal, as Congress suffered from internal disputes that led to the dismissal of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Congress didn’t ultimately approve additional funds to assist him in his counterattack.

Regarding whether the current negotiations will lead to better results, a European source said on Monday, “I am fairly confident that despite the exaggeration now, we are in a fairly good position for 2024,” but he didn’t rule out the occurrence of a stalemate given the severe differences within the country… Parliament of the largest economic power in the world”.

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