Biden 'confident' Congress will ultimately approve additional funding for Ukraine

AS President Joe Biden
AS President Joe Biden Copyright Evan Vucci/AP
By Euronews with AP
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The US President admitted he was not confident the funding would come through before Ukraine lost more territory

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US President Joe Biden remains confident that Congress will ultimately approve additional funding for Ukraine.

Biden reassured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during their Saturday phone call, as the eastern city of Avdiivka fell into Russian control.

But when asked if he were confident more US funding would come through before Ukraine loses more territory, Biden acknowledged, "I'm not."

US aid for Ukraine remains stuck in Congress and NATO allies in Europe are struggling to fill the gap.

"Look, Ukrainians have fought so bravely," Biden said. "There is so much on the line. The idea now when they are running out of ammunition that we’re going to walk away, I find it absurd."

'Artificial deficit' of arms for Ukraine

Ukraine is back on the defensive against Russia in the nearly 2-year-old war, hindered by low ammunition supplies and a shortage of personnel. 

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Zelenskyy warned his country's allies that an “artificial deficit” of arms for Ukraine risked giving Russia breathing space and allowing "Putin to adapt to the current intensity of the war.”

“Our actions are limited only by ... our strength,” Zelenskyy said, pointing to the situation in Avdiivka after the commander of Ukraine's armed forces said he was withdrawing troops from the city to prevent their encirclement and to save soldiers’ lives.

Lack of US aid is believed to be one of the reasons the town of Avdiivka was lost, according to media and experts.

Howitzer artillery weapons have been mostly silent over the last weeks to conserve ammunition, according to Latvian journalists who visited a Ukrainian artillery unit near Avdiivka.

Russian forces carried out several airstrikes in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, in the regions of Donetsk and Kharkiv, killing several people.

One woman was confirmed killed after Russian bombs struck a residential neighbourhood in the town of Kupiansk in Kharkiv. 

Five people were injured, and rescue teams say that several more can still be under the rubble.

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