Five words from Joe Biden show deep problems for Ukraine, expert warns

Joe Biden’s softening rhetoric on Ukraine, including his new claim that America will only provide aid “as long as we can”, has sparked alarm about the West’s weakening resolve in the face of Russian aggression.

Speaking at a press conference alongside Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday, the President avoided repeating his past insistence that the United States would support the Ukrainian fightback “as long as it takes” to ensure victory.

“We’ll continue to supply Ukraine with critical weapons and equipment as long as we can; including $200 million I just approved today,” he said.

“But without supplemental funding, we’re rapidly coming to an end of our ability to help Ukraine respond to the urgent operational demands that it has.”

The President delivered this message while his request hangs in the balance for an additional $110 billion US aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other national security needs hangs in the balance, as Republicans in Congress push for support to toughen up the US-Mexico border. Mr Zelensky had arrived in Washington this week in order to appeal to Republicans and Democrats for more aid to fund the Ukrainian fight against Vladimir Putin.

Experts warned that the Russian President risks capitalising on any weakening in support from NATO allies such as the US.

William Freer, national security fellow at the Council on Geostrategy, told “This subtle shift in Biden’s rhetoric is concerning and speaks to deep problems both in the US and across NATO capitals of finding the funds for continuing to support Ukraine’s military needs in competition with pressing domestic concerns.

“That the Republicans are willing to risk improving Putin’s hand in Ukraine over partisan politics like this the border issue is frustrating to say the least.

“A delay to American aid would have serious repercussions on the frontline, European countries will continue to provide what they are able to, which is not an insignificant volume of military hardware, but without continued US aid the combat capability of the Ukrainian armed forces would soon be diminished, deepening the current stalemate.”

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