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Biden will hold a meeting with Zelenskyy despite the disagreement in Congress over aid to Ukraine.
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Biden will hold a meeting with Zelenskyy despite the disagreement in Congress over aid to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will have an opportunity to personally advocate for additional aid from the United States to support his country’s efforts against a Russian attack. He will be meeting with members of Congress and President Joe Biden in Washington on Tuesday.

According to Zelenskyy, he plans to use the meetings to discuss potential accomplishments for next year based on our progress this year.

During his speech at the National Defense University in Washington on Monday, Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of strengthening Ukraine’s air defenses by acquiring missiles, drones, and jets in order to gain control of the sky.

Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of politicians not betraying soldiers, stating that unity is necessary for both defense and freedom.

The White House’s spokesperson for the National Security Council, John Kirby, informed journalists that President Biden will receive an update from President Zelenskyy regarding the current situation on the battlefield in Ukraine. Kirby also stated that Biden will strongly express his support for President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people during this challenging period.

Kirby stated that he anticipates Biden will clearly articulate the reasons why providing additional funds to Ukraine and Israel is crucial for our own national security interests right now.

Biden has requested a $110 billion package from Congress to fund Ukraine and Israel during wartime, as well as other important national security initiatives. Of the allocated funds, Ukraine would receive over $61 billion.

However, U.S. Senate Republicans have opposed the bill, arguing that significant changes to border security in the U.S. are necessary.

Certain members of the Republican party are demanding the prompt expulsion of undocumented immigrants, denying them the opportunity to pursue asylum in the United States.

They have also demanded significant reduction of the programs implemented by the Biden administration, which have granted lawful entry to hundreds of thousands of migrants in the U.S.

The United States has already given Ukraine $111 billion to aid in their defense against Russia’s 2022 attack.

During his Monday address, Zelenskyy stressed the significance of defeating Russia in Ukraine. He warned that if Russia prevails in Ukraine, its President Vladimir Putin will not be satisfied and could potentially continue his actions elsewhere.

“He [Putin] is currently using propaganda and misinformation as his weapon against you. However, if he has the opportunity, he will take things further,” he stated. “At present, he is redirecting Russia’s economy and society towards what he refers to as ‘war tracks’.”

The President of Ukraine stated that they have regained 50% of the land previously occupied by Russia and praised the determination of Ukrainian soldiers on the frontlines.

Currently, amidst intense fighting, our troops are maintaining their positions on the front line and getting ready for future operations. We have successfully prevented Russia from achieving any wins this year,” Zelenskyy stated.

During the National Defense University event, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin expressed that the U.S. remains committed in its support for Ukraine.

Austin stated that if we do not confront the Kremlin’s aggression now, and if we do not discourage other potential aggressors, we will inevitably provoke further aggression, resulting in more violence and turmoil.

IMF funding

On Monday, the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a disbursement of $900 million for Ukraine as a portion of their ongoing, extended loan.

After his meeting with IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva on Monday in Washington, Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for the support shown towards Ukraine and for recognizing the achievements of our nation and citizens through his Telegram channel.

According to Georgieva, even with Russia’s invasion in February 2022, the economy of Ukraine has remained strong.

According to Reuters, Georgieva stated that although the recovery is predicted to continue, there are significant risks in the future due to the uncertainty caused by war. She also emphasized the importance of consistent and timely external funding at lower interest rates.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) requested on Monday for Ukraine to carry out a significant restructuring of its external commercial debt by the first half of 2024 in order to improve its debt sustainability.

Russian submarines

On Monday, in a televised event, Putin examined two nuclear submarines, the Krasnoyarsk and Emperor Alexander III, at the Sevmash shipbuilding yard in the arctic port of Severodvinsk.

Russian sailors stand on the deck of the nuclear submarine The Emperor Alexander III while Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a flag-raising ceremony for newly built nuclear submarines at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk in Russia's Archangelsk region, Dec. 11, 2023.

On December 11, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin was present at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, Russia’s Archangelsk region, for a flag-raising event for the newly constructed nuclear submarines. Meanwhile, Russian sailors were standing on the deck of one of the submarines, The Emperor Alexander III.

The Borei [Arctic Wind] class of nuclear submarines, known as the Emperor Alexander III, is a recent addition to Russia’s fleet. It is the first of its kind to be launched by Russia since the Cold War era.

In the previous month, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the ship had effectively conducted testing on a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

According to security experts, Putin has placed a higher emphasis on nuclear weapons in his strategies and public statements since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine. This is due to the ongoing stalemate in the conventional warfare between his forces and those of Ukraine.

Carla Babb from VOA was a contributor to this report. The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters also provided some information.