Biden Accuses Congress Of ‘Neglect’ Over Ukraine, Meets With Germany’s Scholz
U.S. President Joe Biden said Congress would be guilty of “close to criminal neglect” if it failed to pass funding forthanked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday for his leadership in securing German military aid for Kyiv.
Scholz, who was making a whirlwind stop in Washington toBiden’s efforts to obtain funding for Ukraine, met with the president at the White Russia’s war with its smaller neighbor as well as the crisis in the Middle East.
Speaking to reporters before the meeting, Scholz said he had been encouraged by the U.S. Senate’s move on Thursday to advance a $95.34 billion bill that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel andafter Republicans blocked compromise legislation that included
The White House hasfor months that a failure by lawmakers to provide aid to Kyiv would hurt its ability to fight two years after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The failure of the United States Congress, if it occurs, not to support Ukraine is close to criminal neglect. It is outrageous,” Biden said in the Oval Office, in front of a blazing fire, with Scholz seated next to him.
“I’m very happy that in Europe we have now made decisions to get the necessary financial supportthe budget,” said Scholz, speaking in English. “Also Germany was ready to increase its support weapon delivery.” He added: “And hopefully Congress, the House, will follow you and make a decision on giving the necessary support.”
Scholz met with U.S. business executives toinvestment opportunities in Biden at the White House about the two crises that world politics.
Germany had made decisive contributions latelya full-scale Russian invasion, he said.
“Now, the same must happen in the rest of Europe andUnited States,” he said, noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin on support for Ukraine
He said his meeting with U.S. senators on both sides of the aisle on Thursday evening reassured him that foreign policy and security experts in the U.S. Congress understood the need for sustained support for Ukraine.
Scholz said Putinrecounted “a completely absurd story about the origins of this war” in his interview with conservative U.S. talk-show host Tucker Carlson that aired on Thursday.
“There is a clear cause and that is theto annex part of Ukraine,” he said.
Asked about Putin’s suggestion of a prisoner swap – U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal, who has been detained in Russia for nearly a year, in exchange for Vadim Krasikov, who was convicted of the 2019 murder of a Chechen dissident in Berlin – Scholz said such issues should be discussed confidentially.
The European Union approved a four-year, 50 billion-euro ($54 billion) facility for Ukraine last week.
Ukraine, which aspires to joinNATO military alliance, relies on Western nations for military support and financial backing.
White House spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday that Biden and Scholz alsodiscuss the situation in Gaza and “what together we can do as … strong allies to continue to make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and humanitarian assistance gets into the people that need it.”
They were also likely to discussto international shipping in the Red Sea, he said.