Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday. Biden invited the Ukrainian "to underscore the United States' unwavering commitment to supporting the Ukrainian people in their defense against the brutal Russian invasion," the White House said on Sunday.
Selenskyj's office said he was already traveling to the USA today. In addition to the meeting with Biden, there will also be a number of other discussions. According to US media reports, Zelensky will also meet with US senators and the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Republican Mike Johnson.
Zelensky had previously traveled to Argentina in search of allies and support for the defensive struggle. During his working visit to Buenos Aires for the inauguration of the new Argentine head of state Javier Milei, Zelensky met on Sunday with several South American heads of state and explored the possibilities for a Ukraine-Latin America summit.
US President wants to discuss battlefield needs with Zelensky
The White House said Biden and Zelensky planned to discuss Ukraine's urgent battlefield needs and also discuss continued U.S. aid. The release of new funds is blocked by a dispute in the US Parliament. More and more Republicans are expressing doubts about or rejecting support for Ukraine. According to the government in Washington, the funds for Ukraine previously approved by Parliament will be completely used up by the end of the year.
A recently passed interim budget once again contains no new funds for Ukraine, although Biden had already requested large sums of billions for Kiev from Congress in October. Biden and his team have been calling on Congress to act with increasing vehemence for weeks. But there is no movement there so far.
Zelenskyj met South American presidents - and Orban
In Buenos Aires, Zelensky not only met with the presidents of Paraguay, Ecuador and Uruguay to discuss the chances of a summit with representatives of Latin America. He also used the visit to speak to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban about Ukraine's desire to join the EU. Orban had threatened to block Kiev's hopes of beginning membership talks with the European Union soon. The visit to Argentina was primarily characterized by Zelensky's efforts to secure the support of the so-called Global South for his country. Many of the countries are finding it difficult to support the hard line taken by western industrial nations towards Russia.
Kiev: Situation on Ukrainian fronts remains difficult
From the perspective of the generals in Kiev, the situation on the various front lines in Ukraine remains difficult. Especially in the east of the country, Ukrainian troops are continually registering new attacks by Russian units, said Olexander Syrskyj, commander of the army, on Sunday. Bad weather with temperatures below freezing caused a slight decrease in Russian attacks in some places, but their direction remained unchanged. “The enemy is not giving up its plans to recapture Kupyansk,” military spokesman Volodymyr Fityo said on television.
Ukraine has been fending off a Russian invasion with Western help for over 21 months. Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region was liberated from Russian occupation by Ukrainian troops at the beginning of September last year. Recently, however, the Russian army was able to gain territory there again.
Late on Sunday evening, the Russian military launched another wave of so-called kamikaze drones towards Ukraine. Air alerts were sounded in the south and central Ukraine. There were reports of explosions in the region around the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa, as anti-aircraft defenses were presumably in action there.
Baerbock: Support for Ukraine in our security interests
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock emphasized the importance of aid for Ukraine before discussions with her EU department colleagues in Brussels. There is more and more talk of “fatigue” in Europe these days. And some asked whether the support wasn't enough, the Green politician wrote in a guest article for the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". But she emphasized: "We support Ukraine not just out of loyalty to a friend. We support it so that it can free its people from hell. And because it is in our own security interests."
Estonia's Prime Minister warns against Russian disinformation
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas warned of targeted disinformation by Russia. "Russia's campaign aims to discourage democratic decision-makers and societies from supporting Ukraine, provoke domestic political divisions and influence democratic votes - including the decisions we make at our polling stations," Kallas wrote in a guest article for the editorial network Germany ( RND/Monday). "The Kremlin's disinformation campaign reaches an enormous audience through social media - it's literally in our pockets, phones and apps."
Study: A lot of money from the EU budget for Ukraine if possible accession
According to a study, if Ukraine were to join the EU, up to 17 percent of the alliance's common budget would flow into the country. Experts from the German Economic Institute (IW) estimate the financial impact of Ukraine's full membership in the EU on the EU's current multi-year budget at around 130 to 190 billion euros, according to a report published on Monday. The EU's multi-year common budget amounts to around 1.1 trillion euros from 2021 to 2027.
What is important today
The EU foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels for their last regular meeting this year. The agenda includes discussions on the Middle East conflict and further support for Ukraine. The current issue is, among other things, how further military aid should be financed.