Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Biden heads to Italy to pitch world leaders on more cash for Ukraine

By 37ci3 Jun12,2024



PARIS – President Joe Biden will meet with other world leaders this week to seek new ways to get aid to the country fighting a Russian invasion, amid signs that Americans are tired of sending weapons to Ukraine after two years of war.

Biden will attend a three-day meeting of the Group of Seven, or G7, the world’s largest industrialized nations, in Apulia, Italy, where the main topic will be using $300 billion in frozen Russian assets to bolster Ukraine. According to the White House, on the battlefield.

A person familiar with US planning for the summit said Biden and his colleagues agreed on the merits of seizing Russian assets to secure Ukraine’s efforts.

The Biden administration wanted to use both principal and interest from Russian assets to help pay for the war, while European nations preferred to use only interest. The source added that because Ukraine urgently needs more weapons, the Biden administration is willing to compromise and accept the path chosen by European leaders.

One option being considered is for the G7 countries (the others are France, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, Italy and Germany) to provide Ukraine with about $50 billion in funds and then pay that money back in interest over the next 10 years.

Biden suggested he was making progress on the deal during a trip to France last week to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Talking to journalists, A First World War Cemetery Outside Paris, he was asked whether he had spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron about dipping into frozen Russian assets and whether the two had reached an agreement.

“Yes and yes,” Biden said without elaborating.

Biden spent much of his five-day trip to France promoting Ukraine. Just as the United States and its allies cooperated in defeating the Nazis in World War II, democratic nations must be resolute in their defense of Ukraine and demonstrate to Russian President Vladimir Putin that they cannot expand their power by force, Biden argued.

If he defeats Ukraine, an emboldened Putin could move toward Poland and other NATO countries, potentially triggering a wider and deadlier conflict, Biden said.

In Paris, Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and allocated 225 million dollars. weapon pack This includes anti-aircraft and artillery ammunition. He is expected to meet Zelenskiy again during the G7 conference.

“We want to see every country come together in a way that we can mobilize resources for Ukraine so that they can get what they need to succeed in this war,” White House spokesman Jake Sullivan said. The National Security Adviser stated this in the last press briefing.

Although Biden has repeatedly told Americans that helping Ukraine is in the country’s best interest, polls show that public support for the war is waning.

More than 40% of American adults believed that the United States was not helping Ukraine enough in March 2022, a month after the Russian invasion. Pew Research Center survey. Two years later, that number dropped by nearly 20 points.

The share of US adults who agreed with Biden’s argument that Russia poses a threat to other countries in the region fell from 59% to 48% in the two-year period ending in April, according to the Pew poll.

Even as many Americans remain cool on the war, Biden is also facing pressure to step up efforts to help Ukraine. Senator Lindsey Graham, RSC, said on CBS on Sunday.Face to face with the nation“The US should train Ukrainian forces in that country and allow Zelensky’s forces to hit targets inside Russia.

Brett Bruen, who works as director of global relations in Barack Obama’s White House, said in an interview that he would also like Biden to send US military trainers to Ukraine.

“The upside of getting trainers in Ukraine far outweighs any risk, and it’s something we’re doing in less strategic locations,” Bruen said.

“I’m not suggesting we throw tens of thousands of Americans into Ukraine, but it does require us to revise some of the restrictive rules,” the Biden administration said.

While war is likely to be the dominant issue, G7 leaders will talk about the challenges posed by artificial intelligence and what they see as China’s practice of flooding global markets with its goods. A special guest will speak at the summit: Pope Francis.

Back-to-back trips to Europe would tire any president, but it could be especially exhausting for the 81-year-old Biden. He is also facing a family crisis.

On Tuesday, the day before he was set to depart, a jury found his son, Hunter Biden, guilty on all counts. three felony weapons charges he faced federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden and his son are particularly close, and the president will need some emotional armor to keep his focus during the summit, people who have worked with him said.

Former Maine Republican Sen. William Cohen, who served with Biden on Capitol Hill, said he believed Biden would be “prepared for this” in Italy.

“You go through family structures and you’re always going to find problems. He needs to get that way behind him,” Cohen said.

The presidential election will have to come up during Biden’s one-on-one meetings with his colleagues. He He told “Time” magazine In a recent interview, foreign leaders, who often asked him about former President Donald Trump, said they feared a possible return of Trump.

But leaders can also make their own quiet assessment of Biden and whether he looks like someone who could win one last race.

Keith Kellogg, a senior national security official in the Trump White House, said: “European leaders will be looking at Biden and what he says and does.” “They’re going to look at the visuals.”



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