Additional US military aid to Ukraine will be a ‘fiasco’, Kremlin says

Moscow is ‘very attentively’ watching as US President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy meet in Washington.

Ukrainian army brigade recruits take part in a military exercise
Ukrainian army brigade recruits take part in a military exercise in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine, in March 2023 [File: Violeta Santos Moura/Reuters]

Any further United States aid to Ukraine will be a “fiasco”, the Kremlin has said ahead of a meeting in Washington between US President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Moscow is also “very attentively” watching developments as the two leaders are set to meet on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Zelenskyy’s visit is part of a last-ditch plea to US lawmakers to keep military support flowing as he battles Russia.

As the Ukrainian leader visits the White House and Capitol Hill, Biden’s request for billions in additional aid for Ukraine and Israel is at serious risk of collapse in Congress.

“It is important for everyone to understand: The tens of billions of dollars pumped into Ukraine did not help it gain success on the battlefield,” Peskov said, speaking at a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

“The tens of billions of dollars that Ukraine wants to be pumped with are also headed for the same fiasco.”

The Kremlin spokesman said the outcome of the meeting would not change the situation on the front line in Ukraine, nor the progress of Russia’s “special military operation” in the country.

He added that Zelenskyy’s authority was being undermined by his government’s “failures” in the ongoing war.

Russia’s gain

On Monday, Zelenskyy warned that failing to maintain support for Ukraine would play into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Let me be frank with you, friends. If there’s anyone inspired by unresolved issues on Capitol Hill, it’s just Putin and his sick clique,” he said, speaking to soldiers at the National Defense University in Washington, DC.

Zelenskyy and Biden have argued that helping Ukraine resist Russia’s invasion, launched in February 2022, is in the mutual interests of both countries as support for Ukrainian aid hits political snags in the US.

During their talks, the two plan to discuss a way to rally support for the military aid plan primarily focused on Ukraine and Israel.

Last week, Republicans blocked the plan after walking out of a classified briefing on Ukraine amid demands for US-Mexico border reforms. Some Republicans are opposed to giving a “blank cheque” for Ukraine.

The US Congress has approved more than $110bn in security assistance for Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion but has not approved new funds since the Republican Party gained a majority in the House of Representatives in January.

Biden has asked Congress to approve an additional $61.4bn in support for Ukraine as part of a larger $110bn package that includes more funds for Israel and other issues.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies