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Biden pledges $500 million more in aid to Ukraine | International

Joe Biden, this Tuesday at the White House during a joint appearance with the Prime Minister of Singapore.
Joe Biden, this Tuesday at the White House during a joint appearance with the Prime Minister of Singapore.Patrick Semansky (AP)

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has promised this Wednesday in a telephone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodímir Zelenski, 500 million more dollars, about 544 million euros, of direct aid to the attacked country in response to the Russian invasion. Both have discussed efforts by Washington and its NATO and European Union allies “to provide military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and to impose severe costs on Russia for its brutal aggression,” according to a summary of the conversation, about 55 minutes, released by the White House.

Biden told Zelensky that Washington is “working 24 hours a day” to see how to continue assisting Ukraine. Both, always according to the White House, have valued in the call the effect that military aid has had on the development of the conflict, which began on February 24 with Moscow’s prospects of a quick victory and a fleeting conquest of kyiv, which they were soon thwarted by resistance from the Ukrainian army. “They have also reviewed,” the statement concludes, “the additional sanctions and humanitarian assistance announced last week,” during Biden’s visit to Brussels and Poland. Zelensky also gave him a summary of the progress in the negotiation that Russia and Ukraine are holding in Istanbul.

In Tuesday’s meeting between the two delegations, some reasons for optimism were observed. Russia assured that it will “drastically” reduce military operations in the kyiv and Chernihiv areas to advance in the resolution of the conflict. Ukraine, for its part, offered its resignation to the ambition of joining NATO, one of the beautiful case used by the Kremlin to initiate the invasion, in exchange for obtaining security guarantees in its territory. Far from loosening its military intensity, Moscow hit the north of the neighboring country on Wednesday, while tightening the offensive in the eastern region of Donbas, in dispute since 2014.

The United States received the Russian promise with skepticism. Biden said: “We will see. I will not believe anything until I verify that they support it with actions ”. And Pentagon spokesman John Kirby later went further, stating that his intelligence services had noticed the movement of “a small number” of Russian soldiers near kyiv in the “last one or two days.” But he ruled out that it was “a real withdrawal.” They keep an overwhelming majority of their troops [en el terreno]. We believe that we are facing a repositioning, not a true retreat. We should all be ready for a big offensive in other areas of Ukraine,” he added.

The American leader also held a videoconference on Tuesday, at his own request, with the French, German, British and Italian leaders, in which the five agreed to take Russian signals with caution.

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