This visit, the second by the Ukrainian president to the US capital since the war began in February 2022, differs from the previous one in December of the same year, according to two experts who spoke to Sky News Arabia.
Weapons and rejected request
The United States has sent about $ 113 billion in security and humanitarian aid to Zelensky's government since the outbreak of war in February 2022, and at the beginning of the year, Washington pledged to deliver Ukraine 31 Abrams tanks, as part of a pledge of military assistance of more than $ 43 billion.
He tells Mykola Beliskov, a researcher at the Ukrainian National Institute for Strategic Studies, that Zelensky's visit to the United States is not just for continued support, Washington will not back down from supporting Kiev, because it does not want Russia to win that round.
Beliskov adds, during his statements to Sky News Arabia, that the visit is based on the type of armament and support at that stage of the counterattack, which relies on air defense systems to protect against Russian missiles, and armored vehicles before winter to continue pressure, especially in the eastern front and penetrate Russian fortifications there.
On Zelensky's requests for armaments, US President Joe Biden announced that the first US Abrams M1 tanks will arrive in Ukraine next week to enhance the capabilities of its forces, in addition to approving the next tranche of military aid, which the Pentagon estimated at $ 325 million.
The tank can operate on the battlefield despite heavy enemy fire, and it is able to bypass concrete obstacles – the obstacles that stand in the way of Ukrainians this year against Russian forces toward Crimea and Donbass.
The Ukrainian president's requests for armament were not implemented as he wants, as Washington refused to supply Kiev with long-range Atacams missiles at the moment, and here the expert at the Research Center for Security Issues of the Russian Academy of Sciences Watling Kudrakhin confirms that Washington does not want the Russian depth or Crimea to be targeted with its weapons, and this is also evident in the disruption of the F-16 fighter jet deal.
Biden's Opponents' Obstacle
After seeking international support at the United Nations, Zelensky went to Washington for a visit that included meetings with US President Joe Biden and Pentagon military leaders.
Coinciding with the visit, the Ukrainian presidency warned of "difficult months ahead" after a "massive" Russian missile attack targeted cities across the country, and here Blokhin says Kiev knows very well that continued support will not bring it victory.
Blokhin told Sky News Arabia that the Ukrainian president is in a real predicament during that visit, although Biden and most congressional leaders still support aid to Ukraine.
Zelensky will face a harder crowd than when he visited Washington nine months ago, for several reasons:
- The counteroffensive supported by Washington and the West has not yet yielded any satisfactory results.
- The European camp is effectively divided over continued support, putting the Biden administration in a bind.
- The US presidential election is approaching as Biden fails to pressure Moscow with the weapon of sanctions.
- Biden's Republican opponents now hold the majority in the House of Representatives.
- On the last point, Kudrakhien Blokhin referred to the remarks of Kevin McCarthy, the Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives, last week, who said: I have questions I want to ask Zelensky, including how can we hold his country accountable for the money we spent? What is his plan for victory?