Zelensky: US Ukraine Will Retreat ‘Step by Step’ if aid Stops

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed grave concerns about the potential consequences if the United States fails to provide assistance to Kiev.

Ukrainian President Zelensky stated that if Washington fails to provide assistance to Kiev, Ukraine will be compelled to retreat incrementally, as reported in an op-ed in The Washington Post on Friday.

“If there is no U.S., support, it means that we have no air defense, no Patriot missiles, no jammers for electronic warfare, no 155-millimeter artillery rounds,” he said. “It means we will go back, retreat, step by step, in small steps.”

Zelensky additionally mentioned that Ukraine lacks sufficient interceptors and other air-defense weaponry.

“That’s true. I don’t want Russia to know what number of air-defense missiles we have, but basically, you’re right,” he said. “Without the support of Congress, we will have a big deficit of missiles. This is the problem. We are increasing our own air-defense systems, but it is not enough.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, he conveyed that Ukraine is endeavoring to discover alternatives to avoid withdrawing.
This comes as the US ally is reportedly facing a critical shortage of ammunition in the war.

GOP leaders mull using REPO to sell Ukraine aid package to conservatives

Republican leaders are considering utilizing the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity for Ukrainians Act (REPO) to convince conservatives in the House to stand behind a new aid package for Ukraine, Punchbowl News reported today.

“We believe that it [REPO] would probably get us some more votes [in the House],” Senator Jim Risch, co-author of the bill, informed Punchbowl News.

What is REPO?

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced REPO in January, a bill that would allow the transfer of seized Russian assets to Kiev.

In the committee, Senator Rand Paul was the only one who opposed the bill, labeling it as an “act of economic war” against Russia.

However, the creators of the REPO bill believe that amid a record-high national debt and high inflation, their legislation will be utilized to lessen the financial burden on US taxpayers and will also increase the chances of passing the multi-billion supplemental aid package for Ukraine, “Israel”, and Taiwan, according to the report.

Moscow has continuously stressed that any attempt to seize its assets would violate international law as its Foreign Ministry also condemned the freezing of Russian assets labeling it as outright theft.

Dive deeper

On March 23, US Representative Mike Johnson expressed his intention to prioritize completing funding for the government before focusing on foreign aid for three US allies: Ukraine, “Israel”, and Taiwan. Despite pressure from other leaders to bring the $95 billion Senate-passed aid package for Ukraine to the House floor, Johnson has declined, stating that he is working on drafting his own aid package for Ukraine.

This decision means that the House won’t address funding for Kiev until at least mid-April. While Johnson has not provided many details on how he plans to structure his supplemental aid package, he maintains that it remains a priority.
The issue of providing Ukraine with additional aid has been a source of contention for the divided government in Washington for several months. President Joe Biden, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have been urging Johnson to promptly address the Senate bill, which includes $60 billion for Ukraine. However, during his five months in office, Johnson has had to handle the matter cautiously.

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