The Biden administration on Thursday announced an aid package for Ukraine with a value of “up to $325 million” for “critical security and defense needs.”
The announcement came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in Washington, D.C., to meet with U.S. leaders including President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). The package includes weapons like missiles and machine guns to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
“Today I’m in Washington to strengthen our coalition to defend Ukrainian children, our families, our homes, freedom and democracy in the world,” Zelensky said in an Oval Office meeting with Biden.
“And I started my day in the U.S. Congress to thank its members and the people in America for rolling big, huge support. I felt trust between us,” Zelensky continued. “It allowed us to have frank and constructive dialogue.”
Zelensky’s D.C. trip and the aid announcement also coincided with chaos in the House over funding bills and disagreement over Ukraine aid. McCarthy also said he denied a request by the Ukrainian leader to address a joint session of Congress on Thursday.
“Zelensky asked us for a joint session; we just didn’t have time,” McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill, according to videos of the exchange.
McCarthy himself has seemed hesitant to give aid to Ukraine. At a press conference Tuesday, he said he had “questions” to ask Zelensky when they met.
“Where’s the accountability on the money we already spent?” McCarthy said, listing off the questions he said he would have for the Ukrainian leader during their meeting. “What is the plan for victory?”