Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the United States’ financial support to Ukraine is more than just supporting the embattled country in its fight against Russia, but also a means to curbing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s further global aggression.
“The United States of America [is] supporting Ukraine financially and I’m grateful for this,” Zelensky said in an interview with CBS News’s “60 Minutes.” “I just think they’re not only supporting Ukraine. If Ukraine falls, Putin will surely go further.”
Pointing to estimated tens of billions that the U.S. has contributed to Ukraine’s war effort, CBS’s Scott Pelley asked Zelensky if he expects that level of support to continue.
“What will the United States of America do when Putin reaches the Baltic states? When he reaches the Polish border? He will,” Zelensky warned. “This is a lot of money, we have a lot of gratitude. What else must Ukraine do for everyone to measure our huge gratitude? We are dying in this war.”
“Look, if Ukraine falls, what will happen in ten years? Just think about it. If [the Russians] reach Poland, what’s next? A Third World War?” Zelensky continued.
When asked if it will take billions of dollars more in aid to prevent this, Zelensky said, “I don’t have an answer.”
“The whole world [has to] decide whether we want to stop Putin, or whether we want to start the beginning of a world war,” Zelensky continued. “We can’t change Putin. Russian society has [lost] the respect of the world. They elected him, and reelected him and raised a second Hitler. They did this. We cannot go back in time, but we can stop it here.”
The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in military and humanitarian support for Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February of 2022.
Last month, the Biden administration sent a supplemental funding request to Congress including $24 billion in additional military and financial aid for Ukraine. The request included around $13 billion in defense funds to assist Ukraine, $9.5 billion for equipment and replenishment of Pentagon stocks and $3.6 billion for continued military, intelligence and other defense support.
The Biden administration faces challenges from a growing number of House Republicans, who have expressed skepticism over the approval of more Ukraine funding.
Zelensky is expected to visit the White House on Thursday as the Biden administration pushes for this increased funding. Biden has vowed the U.S. will stand with Kyiv “for as long as it takes” for the embattled country to win the war.
The visit will mark Zelensky’s second trip to the White House in the past year after he traveled to Washington, D.C. last December to meet with Biden and deliver an address to a joint session of Congress.
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