Biden meets with Zelensky, apologizes for delay in Ukraine aid

U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Paris, Friday, June 7, 2024.
Published June 7, 2024

President Biden on Friday apologized to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky for the gap in U.S. funding for Ukraine’s war against Russia amid GOP opposition, but vowed the White House is “thoroughly” supportive of Kyiv.

Biden met with Zelensky in Normandy, where world leaders are gathered to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The U.S. president unveiled another $225 million aid package for Ukraine during the meeting.

“I apologize for the weeks of not knowing what’s going to pass in terms of funding because we had trouble getting the bill that we had to pass that had the money in it. Some of our very conservative members were holding it up. But we got it done finally,” Biden said.

“We’re still in,” he added. “Completely. Thoroughly.”

Biden in late April signed a $95 billion national security supplemental that included $61 billion for Ukraine in its war against invading Russian forces.

The bill was passed months after the White House said it was out of funds to provide Ukraine with munitions and other support. But dozens of Republicans in Congress opposed spending additional money for Kyiv, arguing the government should focus on domestic problems.



RELATED: Biden apologizes to Zelenskyy for delay in military aid for Ukraine

Published June 7, 2024

President Joe Biden on Friday for the first time publicly apologized to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for a monthslong holdup in American military assistance that let Russia make gains on the battlefield.

What You Need To Know

    • President Joe Biden on Friday met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Paris
  • Biden apologized to the Ukrainian leader for a monthslong delay in military aid for the country’s war against Russia
  • The U.S. will send about $225 million in military aid to Ukraine, U.S. officials said Thursday; the latest package includes munitions for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, as well as mortar systems and an array of artillery rounds, officials said
  • Biden is set to speak Friday at Pointe du Hoc, the site of an iconic World War II battle during the D-Day invasion, where he is expected to draw parallels between the war in Europe 80 years ago to the threats facing democracy in 2024

Speaking in Paris, where they both attended ceremonies marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Biden told Zelenskyy that he apologized to the Ukrainian people for the weeks of not knowing if more assistance would come while Congress waited six months before sending Biden a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine.

Biden insisted that the American people were standing by Ukraine for the long haul: “We’re still in. Completely. Thoroughly.”

The United States is by far Kyiv’s biggest supplier of wartime support, and Ukraine is trying to fend off an intense Russian offensive in eastern areas of the country. The push is focused on the Ukrainian border regions of Kharkiv and Donetsk but Ukrainian officials say it could spread as Russia’s bigger army seeks to make its advantage tell.

The offensive is seeking to exploit Kyiv’s shortages of ammunition and troops along the roughly 620-mile front line.

That shortfall in weaponry came after U.S. military aid was held up in Congress for six months before Biden in April signed into law a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine.

The slow pace of delivery of pledged Western weaponry has long frustrated Zelenskyy, as has Biden’s hesitation over supplying more hardware for fear of provoking Russian President Vladimir Putin. That has caused tension in their relationship.




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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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