nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Biden lost temper with Zelenskyy in June phone call when Ukrainian leader asked for more aid

Biden had barely finished telling Zelenskyy he’d just greenlighted another $1 billion in military assistance when the Ukrainian president started listing all the additional help he needed.

NBC News, Oct. 31, 2022, By Carol E. Lee, Courtney Kube and Dan De Luce

It’s become routine since Russia invaded Ukraine: President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speak by phone whenever the U.S. announces a new package of military assistance for Kyiv.

But a phone call between the two leaders in June played out differently from previous ones, according to four people familiar with the call. Biden had barely finished telling Zelenskyy he’d just greenlighted another $1 billion in U.S. military assistance for Ukraine when Zelenskyy started listing all the additional help he needed and wasn’t getting. Biden lost his temper, the people familiar with the call said. The American people were being quite generous, and his administration and the U.S. military were working hard to help Ukraine, he said, raising his voice, and Zelenskyy could show a little more gratitude.

Administration officials said Biden and Zelenskyy’s relationship has only improved since the June phone call, after which Zelenskyy made a statement praising the U.S. for its generous assistance. But the clash reflects Biden’s early awareness that both congressional and public support for sending billions of dollars to Ukraine could begin to fade. That moment has arrived just as the president prepares to ask Congress to greenlight even more money for Ukraine.

Biden now faces resistance from some Republicans and Democrats that wasn’t present when Congress approved previous Ukraine funds. The White House has discussed asking Congress for billions of dollars during the lame-duck legislative session after the midterm elections.

The White House hasn’t specified an amount publicly. Lawmakers and Ukraine lobbyists hope for $40 billion to $60 billion, and some officials familiar with the discussions expect the number to be roughly $50 billion. 

A source familiar with the conversation said that Biden was direct with Zelenskyy about handling the issues in the appropriate military channels but that the exchange wasn’t heated or angry.

A spokesperson for the National Security Council declined to comment on the story. 

A spokesperson for Zelenskyy didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

Top U.S. officials warn there are no signs the war is ending any time soon. 

Before the June 15 phone call, the president’s frustrations with Zelenskyy had been building for weeks, three people familiar with the call said. Biden and some of his top aides felt that the administration was doing as much as it could as quickly as it could but that Zelenskyy continued to focus publicly on only what wasn’t being done. 

From Zelenskyy’s perspective — as well as that of some Eastern European governments and U.S. lawmakers from both parties — there has been repeated frustration that the Biden White House moves too slowly on weapons requests, initially hesitating to approve certain capabilities Ukraine requested most urgently, only to relent weeks or months later under pressure, according to two sources familiar with the Ukraine government’s view, congressional aides and two European officials……………………………………..

The proportion of Americans who are extremely or very concerned about Ukraine’s losing the war has dropped by 17 percentage points since May, from 55% to 38%, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last month. And the proportion of Americans who say they’re not too concerned or not at all concerned about Russia’s winning was up from 16% to 26%, according to the survey.

The potential change in political will in the U.S. for continuing to send aid to Ukraine could upend how both the White House and Zelenskyy have approached the issue so far.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the Biden administration has been criticized for moving too cautiously. Now the president faces potential pushback from some Republican lawmakers and progressive Democrats that he’s providing too much aid.

The shifting dynamics on Capitol Hill also could force Zelenskyy’s team to rethink how it engages with Washington, as it has often tried to leverage its support in Congress to get more out of the White House.  https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/biden-lost-temper-zelenskyy-phone-call-ukraine-aid-rcna54592

Advertisement

November 1, 2022 - Posted by | politics international, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: