Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged Congress on Tuesday to fully fund the Biden administration’s proposed State Department budget in order to ensure that the war in Ukraine leads to a “strategic failure” for Russia.
Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that His last trip to Kyiv It gave him an “indelible impression” that Ukraine was resisting the Russian invasion – and the capital was successfully defended.
“It was right in front of us: the Ukrainians had won the Battle of Kyiv,” he said.
Blinken – who went on a secret diplomatic trip to Ukraine with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last weekend – said the US-led global response to the Russian invasion “emphasized the strength and purpose of American diplomacy”.
He said the proposed $60.4 billion budget for the next fiscal year is essential to continue mobilizing partners and allies on the cause.
“We will continue to push that diplomacy forward to seize what I believe are strategic opportunities and address the risks posed by Russia’s expansion, as countries reconsider their policies, priorities and relationships,” Blinken said.
“The budget request before it predates this crisis, but its full funding is critical in my opinion to ensuring Russia’s war in Ukraine is a strategic failure for the Kremlin and serves as a powerful lesson for those who might consider following its path.”
Blinken and Austin told Zelensky that the United States would provide more than $300 million in military funding and agreed to sell $165 million worth of ammunition compatible with Ukraine’s Soviet-era weapons.
Blinken also told the commission that US weapons and supplies are now making their way to Ukrainian fighters within 72 hours.
“I think we pretty much agree on what they say they need and what we think we can deliver,” Blinken said.
The White House is expected to request a long-term funding package to help Ukraine this week.