Unfortunately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had to cancel his planned meeting with members of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. The purpose of the meeting was to request continued military assistance in light of the ongoing Russian invasion.
During a press conference, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that Zelenskyy was unable to attend our briefing due to a last-minute issue.
Schumer invited Zelenskyy to participate in a classified briefing through video in order for those present to directly hear from him and fully understand the importance of the matter. This would assist lawmakers in making an informed decision on a bill that involves significant funding for Ukraine.
The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Shalanda Young, cautioned congressional leaders in a letter on Monday that the U.S. will soon be unable to provide weapons and aid to Ukraine due to depleted funds. Young stated that Ukraine will no longer be able to sustain its fight without U.S. support and that the U.S. has already exhausted its resources in bolstering Ukraine’s economy.
“We are quickly depleting our funds and our deadline is approaching,” stated Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor for U.S. President Joe Biden, during a press conference. He emphasized that not supporting Ukraine would ultimately benefit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategic goals.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive on the battlefield against Russian forces has come to a halt after six months, with minimal progress in reclaiming territory in the eastern region of the country.
In October, the Biden administration requested nearly $106 billion from Congress to support extensive proposals for Ukraine, Israel, and border security in the United States.
However, providing financial support to Ukraine has sparked political debate, particularly among conservative legislators in the House of Representatives who hold a slim majority and are against providing more aid. They argue that the assistance does not align with the interests of the United States.
According to a letter from Young, which was made public by the White House, halting financial support and the supply of weapons to Ukraine could potentially benefit Russia in the battleground.
“I want to make it clear that without intervention from Congress, we will deplete our resources by the end of the year and be unable to obtain additional weapons and equipment for Ukraine. We also cannot rely on a sudden influx of funding to address this issue.”
EU officials and diplomats have announced that on Tuesday, representatives from the EU’s 27 member countries will convene to discuss the possibility of initiating talks for Ukraine’s membership in the EU.
The gathering signifies the beginning of planning within the 27 nations for the upcoming December 14-15 summit of the European Union’s leaders. At this summit, they will also evaluate and make decisions on the potential for EU integration for countries such as Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Bosnia, and others.
The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, has requested that Ukraine’s application to join the European Union not be discussed at the upcoming EU summit.
Orban, in a letter addressed to European Council President Charles Michel, who will preside over the summit in Brussels, stressed the importance of having a “strategic dialogue” about Ukraine’s future in Europe. He cautioned that hastily making a decision could potentially harm the unity of the EU.
Orban, seen as a strong ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Europe, argues that Ukraine is far from being ready to join the EU.
According to him, it is crucial for EU leaders to prevent this unproductive situation in order to maintain our most valuable asset, unity. Although he did not directly state that Hungary would veto any attempts to initiate membership discussions with Ukraine, the warning was implied.
The choice to join the EU and the EU’s budget plan, which includes $54.1 billion to support Kyiv, can only be agreed upon by all 27 member nations.
On Tuesday, the defense ministry of Russia reported that their air defense systems successfully destroyed or intercepted a minimum of 35 drones from Ukraine.
The ministry announced on Telegram that they successfully prevented Ukrainian attacks in the Crimean Peninsula and the Sea of Azov.
According to the Ukrainian military, 17 Shahed drones, manufactured in Iran, were used in an attack by Russia overnight. Ukrainian air defenses successfully took down 10 of the drones.
The report also stated that Russia fired six guided missiles towards the Donetsk and Kherson regions.
The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters provided some details for this story.