War in Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky unexpectedly cancels speech to US Congress

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky canceled his scheduled address to the US Congress on Tuesday due to a “last-minute” event, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said.

“Zelensky cannot come to our conference at 3:00 p.m. Something happened at the last minute,” the US-elected official told reporters. The Ukrainian president was due to speak before the US Congress, hoping to unveil a new, highly controversial but important package for his country at war.

Washington has provided the largest military aid to Kiev since the Russian invasion in February 2022, providing billions of dollars. But Democratic President Joe Biden’s promise to continue funding Ukraine is in serious doubt. At risk, the disastrous situation is kyiv, whose disappointing counter-attack did not bring the hoped-for territorial gains.

The bicameral US Congress, which has so far approved massive envelopes of military, humanitarian and macroeconomic aid to Kyiv. In the conservative-dominated House of Representatives, a handful of right-wing elected officials are calling for an immediate end to aid to Kyiv. In the Senate, with a Democratic majority, the Republican opposition is pro-Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials insist they need more weapons to prevent Russian attacks from plunging millions into darkness this winter, as they did last year.

The White House itself issued the warning on Monday, vowing to cut US military aid to Ukraine sharply in the coming weeks in the absence of a budget deal with the Republican opposition. “If Congress does not act, we will run out of resources to provide Ukraine with more weapons and equipment and supplies from the U.S. military stockpile before the end of the year,” wrote White House Budget Director Shalanda Young.

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