Thursday, December 1

Biden to address Ukraine support amid talks about another aid package – live | US politics


Jon Henley

The UN secretary general has described the war in Ukraine as “an absurdity” in the 21st century on a visit to the scene of civilian killings outside Kyiv, as Russia warned the west that increasing arms supplies to Ukraine would endanger European security.

Antonio Guterres was touring Borodianka on Thursday, where Russian forces are accused of massacring civilians before their withdrawal, on his first visit to Ukraine since the start of the invasion on 24 February, before talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

“I imagine my family in one of those houses that is now destroyed and black,” said the UN secretary general, who has been criticized for visiting Ukraine only after having first met Russia’s president, Vladimir Putinin Moscow.

“I see my granddaughters running away in panic,” Guterres said. “The war is an absurdity in the 21st century. The war is evil. There is no way a war can be acceptable in the 21st century.”

At her daily briefing yesterday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that Joe Biden would submit his request for another Ukraine aid package this week.

Psaki would not provide any details on the topline cost of the aid package, but it is expected to be significant.

“There are plans for this to be a proposal to go through the fiscal year,” Psaki told reporters.

“And it will include, as our past packages have included, security or military assistance, humanitarian, economic assistance, given those, in our view, will help address a range of the needs the Ukrainians have.”

Biden will probably provide more details on the aid request when he delivers remarks on the situation in Ukraine at 10.45am ET.

Biden to address Ukraine support amid talks over aid package

Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.

Joe Biden will deliver remarks this morning on “support for Ukrainians defending their country and their freedom against Russia’s brutal war,” according to the president’s official schedule.

NBCNews reports that Biden will use his speech to ask Congress to approve another aid package for Ukraine, as the war there has now stretched on for more than two months.

NBC reports:

The extra funding is intended to last for the next five months, through the end of the fiscal year, [two] sources said.

Administration officials earlier described the amount of the request as ‘massive’ but would not provide a specific dollar amount. Some details were still not finalized, the officials said.

The amount, however, is intended to fund US military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine through Sept. 30, the officials said. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said earlier this week that he expected “swift, bipartisan cooperation” to ensure the passage of another aid package.

“We must continue helping the people of Ukraine in their fight against Russian aggression,” Schumer said.

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.


www.theguardian.com

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