Zelensky talks with Speaker Johnson, pleads for extra navy assist amid standstill in Congress

Zelensky talks with Speaker Johnson, pleads for extra navy assist amid standstill in Congress

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed that he talked with Home Speaker Mike Johnson Thursday as Congress is anticipated to rethink replenishing assist to the war-torn ally over the approaching weeks.

Zelensky thanked Johnson (R-La.) and different high officers for his or her “important help” amid Russia’s unprovoked invasion and reiterated his entreaty for extra navy assist.

“On this scenario, fast passage of US assist to Ukraine by Congress is significant. We acknowledge that there are differing views within the Home of Representatives on learn how to proceed, however the bottom line is to maintain the problem of assist to Ukraine as a unifying issue,” Zelensky wrote on X.

The Ukrainian president additionally briefed Johnson on Russia’s current escalation of “air terror” on the battlefield, together with using 700 guided aerial bombs in in Ukrainian cities, 140 “Shahed” drones, and 190 missiles.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed gratitude for US help all through its battle to fend off Russian invaders. by way of REUTERS

“Ukraine’s largest hydroelectric energy plant has gone offline,” Zelensky famous.

Johnson has publicly expressed help for marshaling contemporary assist to Kyiv, however he declined to take up the supplemental that cleared the Senate final month and allotted $60 billion for Ukraine-related efforts.

“It was vital for us to not put the supplemental in entrance of the appropriations payments as a result of it could have an effect on, in all probability, the vote tally finally on the appropriations and we needed to get our authorities funded,” Johnson beforehand advised The Submit.

Final week, Congress wrapped up appropriations for the fiscal yr 2023 — and was six months late in doing so — then adjourned till April 9.

A number of sources have advised The Submit they anticipate Johnson to show his consideration to Ukraine after Easter now that the federal government will stay funded for the fiscal yr.

Speaker Mike Johnson has publicly acknowledged his intention to assist Ukraine. REUTERS

However Johnson is staring down a danger of a revolt just like the one which took down his predecessor, former Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) final October.

Simply earlier than wrangling by way of the final of the appropriations payments, firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) flashed a movement to vacate the chair as a “warning” in opposition to him.

She beforehand threatened to take action if he introduced up assist to Ukraine for a flooring vote.

Nonetheless, some Democrats have actively toyed with the concept of rescuing him even because the Republican edge within the decrease chamber is poised to slide to a one-seat majority subsequent month.

Marjorie Taylor Greene dangled a movement to depose Mike Johnson as speaker if he takes up Ukraine assist. Getty Photos

One issue that continues to be unsure is how Congress will fund a supplemental to Ukraine. Some lawmakers have floated varied preparations reminiscent of loans, grants, or strict navy assist.

The Senate’s Ukraine bundle, which was a part of a broader $95 billion supplemental that additionally featured assist to Israel and Taiwan, would have offered each humanitarian and navy help to Kyiv.

Zelenksy additionally burdened the necessity for the US to take additional punitive actions in opposition to the Kremlin.

Ukrainian firefighters extinguished a hearth within the constructing of Shukhevych Museum after a drone assault in Bilogorshche. State Emergency Service of Ukraine/AFP by way of Getty Photos

“We additionally mentioned the significance of slicing off Russia’s sources of funding for its battle as quickly as attainable and utilizing frozen Russian property for Ukraine’s profit. We additionally depend on the management of Congress on this regard,” he added.

President Biden and high Democrats have repeatedly pressured Republicans in Congress to re-up help to Ukraine. Biden had requested for renewed help in August of final yr.

An effort to pair Ukraine assist with border safety reforms went stomach up within the Senate final month.

The Submit contacted Johnson’s workplace for remark.

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