Kiev has to work out issues with US Congress and EU to keep getting aid, the Ukrainian president says Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky during a press conference in Kiev on November 24, 2023 © Getty Images / NurPhoto / Contributor
Kiev needs to achieve “three victories” abroad to maintain the support of its allies, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said during a press conference on Friday. Among the challenges he listed were the approval of large aid packages from the US and the EU.
The Ukrainian president accused Russia of “exploiting various challenges in the world” to “divert attention from any assistance” to his country, adding that “responsible states” are doing everything they can to return that focus.
“We need three victories. The first is with Congress. It’s a challenge. It’s not easy,” Zelensky said, noting that Kiev must do everything to secure aid.
According to him, the second issue is the €50 billion in aid from the EU, which has not yet been approved. “Not everyone in the EU is ready to support this package today. Our task is to make sure everyone supports this package,” the president stated.
The last important task is the decision to start negotiations on Ukraine’s EU membership, Zelensky said, calling it “a significant motivational step.”
Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden’s administration failed to push a $105 billion spending package through Congress, with much of that money intended for Kiev. Instead, the president had to sign a stopgap funding plan excluding Ukraine assistance to avert a government shutdown.
At about the same time, the EU’s €50 billion package of loans and grants was not accepted, as some member states, such as Hungary, expressed skepticism about further funding Kiev.
As for the negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU, according to Reuters, Brussels could postpone formal membership talks, which were scheduled for December, until March 2024, as some leaders have proposed to return to the issue after the European Commission had a chance to assess whether Kiev has met all the necessary conditions.
Kiev’s troops continue to suffer significant losses on the front line. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, the Ukrainian army has lost more than 13,700 troops and approximately 1,800 tanks and other heavy weaponry since the beginning of November alone. As of the end of October, Moscow estimates that Kiev has suffered over 90,000 casualties since the beginning of the June counteroffensive. (RT)