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Ukrainian President Zelensky set to visit Washington amid budget debate | Russia-Ukraine War

The US Congress is set for September 30 to pass budget legislation, including additional aid to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is scheduled to visit the U.S. government headquarters in Washington, D.C., next week to argue for continued aid to his war-torn country.

Details of the visit began emerging in US media on Thursday afternoon, with anonymous government sources confirming the plans.

Zelensky is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday, as well as a stop at the Capitol.

His appearance will coincide with a debate in Congress over federal spending, as lawmakers face a looming Sept. 30 deadline to pass a budget.

The Biden administration has asked Congress to allocate a total of $24 billion in support for Ukraine, including $13.1 billion in additional military aid and $8.5 billion in humanitarian aid.

But some politicians, particularly in the Republican Party, have been reluctant to send more money and supplies to Ukraine as it tries to push back Russian forces.

Congress has already approved aid totaling more than $113 billion. But the last time the House approved funding for Ukraine was in December – before Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.

Today, with a slim conservative majority in the lower house, far-right politicians have greater influence over how budget legislation is decided. Last July, 70 House Republicans, led by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, supported a proposal to completely suspend security assistance to Ukraine.

Zelensky’s appearance at the Capitol next week will be his second since the full-scale invasion of his country began in February 2022.

During his first visit last December, Ukraine’s president delivered an impassioned speech to Congress, rallying lawmakers against Russian “aggression.”

“It’s only a matter of time when they hit your other allies if we don’t stop them now.” We must do it,” Zelensky told the US Congress.

“Your money is not charity. This is an investment in global security and democracy that we manage most responsibly.”

Zelensky has made few trips outside his native Ukraine since the invasion, but he is expected to be in the United States as early as next week for the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York.

His presence was until recently uncertain, but experts believe he is trying to drum up support for Ukraine’s war effort by meeting world leaders in person.

Previously, Zelensky also made surprise visits to the Netherlands and Japan, in a similar effort to gain support from world powers.

Ukraine is currently in the midst of a difficult, months-long counter-offensive as it attempts to reclaim territory occupied by Russian forces.


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