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In Washington Visit, Zelensky Will Try to Shore Up Critical Support

In Washington Visit, Zelensky Will Try to Shore Up Critical Support

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine plans to make his second wartime go to to Washington on Thursday, assembly with President Biden and congressional lawmakers as he tries to protect his nation’s most important supply of funding and weapons.

Mr. Biden might be trying to get a “battlefield perspective” on the struggle from Mr. Zelensky, mentioned John F. Kirby, a White House spokesman. The Ukrainian president, who was in New York this week rallying help on the U.N. General Assembly, additionally plans to go to Capitol Hill and the Pentagon.

The go to comes at an important second within the struggle, with Ukraine’s struggle towards Russian invaders heading into the tough winter months.

But it additionally comes as polls have detected a rising weariness over the struggle among the many American public, which is targeted on issues at dwelling, and as dozens of Republicans say they’re against Mr. Biden’s newest request for $24 billion for extra navy and humanitarian help for Ukraine.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whose place is imperiled by an extreme-right faction of his celebration that opposes Ukraine help, plans to have a personal assembly with Mr. Zelensky, however won’t convene a discussion board for him to handle members on Thursday.

“Where is the accountability on the money we already spent?” Mr. McCarthy informed reporters on Tuesday. “What is the plan for victory? I think that’s what the American public wants to know.”

Mr. Biden has made help for Ukraine a centerpiece of his overseas coverage, arguing that it’s vital to American nationwide safety. He has continued to supply help utilizing beforehand accredited funds, and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III introduced this week that American M1 Abrams tanks can be arriving in Ukraine quickly.

Ukraine has been lobbying for the United States to produce a strong weapon referred to as the Army Tactical Missile System, often known as ATACMS (pronounced like “attack ’ems”), which Mr. Kirby mentioned was not off the desk.

ATACMS, which may strike targets 190 miles away with a warhead containing about 375 kilos of explosives, may assist Kyiv regain Crimea, part of the nation Russia seized in 2014. But the United States has expressed fears about escalation.

“We’re trying to avoid World War III,” Mr. Biden has mentioned.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Kirby defended the weaponry the United States already has supplied to Ukraine.

“We’ve evolved the capabilities as the war has evolved, as the needs evolve, and that has had a significant impact on the Ukrainians’ ability to defend themselves and to advance in this counteroffensive,” he mentioned.

“The progress that they are making, though not as far or as fast as they themselves have said they’d like to go, is not by accident. It’s absolutely due in great measure to their bravery and skill on the battlefield. But it is also due, in no small way, to the support that the United States has provided them.”

Mr. Zelensky will encounter a distinct political local weather than he discovered throughout his go to to Washington final yr, when he obtained a hero’s welcome and an invite from Nancy Pelosi, then the House speaker, to offer a prime-time handle to a joint session of Congress.

During that go to, Mr. Zelensky emerged from the Oval Office with a vow from Mr. Biden that the United States would proceed to help Ukraine “for as long as it takes.”

On Thursday, House lawmakers who wish to hear straight from Mr. Zelensky should go away Capitol Hill. Members of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus and others are anticipated to satisfy with him on the National Archives on Thursday.

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the bulk chief, has organized a closed-door session within the Capitol for all 100 senators.

Mr. McCarthy has mentioned he plans to press Mr. Zelensky on how Ukraine is spending the help the United States has supplied to this point — earlier this yr, Mr. McCarthy declined Mr. Zelensky’s invitation to go to Ukraine to see for himself — as a federal spending struggle in Congress threatens to tie up the White House’s funding request and shut down the federal government.

Mr. Kirby mentioned the White House was assured that it will proceed to see robust help for Ukraine.

“There is no such thing as a blank check for Ukraine, because every single thing that we’re providing to Ukraine is done in full consultation with members of Congress,” he mentioned.

As Mr. Biden tries to safe the brand new funding, the 2024 election is looming.

Former President Donald J. Trump, the front-runner to be the Republican nominee, may make the struggle a central challenge within the marketing campaign.

At a rally over the summer season, he mentioned Congress ought to refuse to ship any extra weapons till the F.B.I., I.R.S. and Justice Department “hand over every scrap of evidence they have on the Biden crime family’s corrupt business dealings.”

Polls additionally recommend help is softening amongst Americans. A latest CNN ballot discovered that almost all Americans believed that Congress mustn’t authorize extra funding to help the struggle.

Karoun Demirjian contributed reporting.

Source web site: www.nytimes.com